The Fairfax Host Lions Club canceled its March fruit sale fundraiser due to a citrus disease attacking orchards across the nation.
"We noticed substantially higher spoilage and evidence of citrus greening disease during our November and December sales," the club said. "When we asked our supplier what the situation would be for the upcoming March sale, they stated that the situation is affecting all growers and they could not assure better quality fruit."
Fairfax Lions, one of 70 clubs in Northern Virginia, helps local families and individuals in need by providing eye examinations and glasses, hearing exams and aids, special services dogs, diabeties awareness programs and a long list of other service projects.
The club's citrus fruit sale is one of its largest fundraisers. In December the group sold ruby red grapefruits and navel oranges from Florida.
March's sale, however, looks to be another victim of Citrus greening, a bacterial disease spread by insects, according to the USDA. The fight to control the spread of the disease isn't new. Citrus growers have been battling the Citrus greening for about five years.
"The disease is not harmful to humans but fruit from affected trees is often dry and hard," Fairfax Lions said. "This means less and less high quality fruit is available. Based on the opinions of our supplier and some customer complaints about reduced fruit quality following our last two sales, we have decided to cancel the March sale rather than compromise on our commitment to you for high quality fruit."
So far the club plans to continue its citrus sale in November.
Check out www.FairfaxLions.org for more information.