FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2020
OVER 4 MILLION POUNDS OF FRESH PRODUCE DISTRIBUTED DURING COVID RESPONSE
(OXNARD, CA) Since mid-May, Food Share of Ventura County has provided a staggering 4.1 million pounds of fresh produce to people experiencing hunger in the county.
The scale of food insecurity in Ventura County has nearly doubled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Current projections from Feeding America show that 115,000 people, including 42,000 children in our County, are now facing a daily struggle to access enough nutritious food.
The fresh produce is a result of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Farmers to Families Food Box Program.” Oxnard-based wholesale produce distributor, The Berry Man, was approved to deliver the first 3.6 million dollars of a 14.7 million dollar contract to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to nonprofits throughout the Tri-Counties Area. The majority of the produce is locally-grown.
Commenting on the impact of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program on people in the community, Roseanne Hernandez, Community Market Coordinator at Community Action of Ventura County, one of Food Share’s network of pantry partners said, “The Berry Man boxes have benefited the community we serve greatly. We have been able to keep up with the demand and not only assure food security, but The Berry Man has delivered amazing quality produce. We are so grateful for Food Share of Ventura County and Berryman Inc. A million Thank You’s!”
“The quality and range of fruit and veggies that The Berry Man was able to provide has been outstanding, and so appreciated by the thousands of people we serve!” said Monica White, President & CEO of Food Share. “We’re happy to have been able to facilitate getting it out to the community.”
Les Clark, President of The Berry Man, Inc. said, “Food Share has been instrumental in helping us roll out this program. With their network of pantry partners across the county, they made our job easy.”
Food Share plans to continue distribution of this fresh produce for as long as the USDA program continues to be funded.
For more information:
- Up-to-date information on temporary pantry closures, pop-up distribution sites and emergency volunteer opportunities will be posted at foodshare.com/covid19 and on Food Share’s social media channels.
- For information on free Senior Food Kit distributions go to foodshare.com/seniorkits.
- VCAAA also has information and resources for seniors at vcaaa.org/covid-19/.
- You can make a donation in support of Food Share at foodshare.com/give.
About Food Share of Ventura County:
Since 1978, Food Share has been feeding the hungry in Ventura County. It all began when eight friends banded together to provide food to those in need in Ventura, CA. The early philanthropic movement started in a family garage, quickly outgrew a donated fire station in Saticoy and now operates in Oxnard, CA with two warehouses with a combined 36,000 square feet. Today, staff and volunteers distribute over 13 million pounds of food, or over 11 million meals, annually through its 190 pantry and program partners. As Ventura County’s food bank, Food Share provides food for 75,000 hungry friends and neighbors monthly. Food Share is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, as well as the California Association of Food Banks. For more information about Food Share, visit www.foodshare.com. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.