“Feeding people is what Ag does.”
-California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross.
Feeding people is also what local food banks do. So it should be no surprise that agriculture is an essential and enthusiastic partner in the Community Food Bank’s work to fight hunger in Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Kern Counties.
Without the support of our local farmers and growers our already challenging fight against hunger would be overwhelming, if not impossible. Fresh produce annually accounts for over forty percent of the food that we are able to distribute to over 200,000 people every month, including almost 80,000 children. And so far this year, we have been able to increase the amount of produce distributed to over fifty percent. In fact, since 2010 the amount of fresh produce donated to the Community Food Bank has grown from over 3.3 million pounds to over 9.1 million pounds per year.
This rapid growth reflects the generosity and compassion of 71 farmers who give back to their local community by donating directly to the Community Food Bank each year. These generous donations are making an immediate and positive impact on families. Many of the families we serve have shared that the produce they are receiving from our distributions is the only produce they have during the month.
In celebrating Farm to Food Bank month, I am thankful for all of the farmers and growers who are giving to food banks throughout our great State, and ask that others consider joining in the fight to eliminate hunger in California.
This is one of a series of blog posts to highlight December as Farm to Food Bank Month – an initiative by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Association of Food Banks to double farm contributions to food banks by 2015.