UnitedAg Member Farms and the Alameda County Community Food Bank Team Up to Feed Those Most in Need
A Win-Win: Andrew & Williamson/ Good Farms, Rancho Guadalupe and Dynasty Farms providing vegetables and fruit to Food Bank+
Irvine Ca, May 1, 2020 - In one of the first agreements of its kind between California producers and a county food bank, two farms will begin providing, at a reasonable rate, produce to the Alameda County Community Food Bank, allowing it to provide additional much-needed fresh fruit and vegetables to a growing number of residents in need of assistance. This innovative pilot program assists the food banks while keeping the agricultural supply chain together which is critical to the future of food supply.
“We are excited that our members have the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded organizations such as the Alameda County Food Bank who support initiatives like Food as Medicine. The COVID-19 pandemic has focused our efforts on building and supporting the health and wellbeing of our broader communities; ensuring the future of fresh produce plays a paramount role in our efforts. This partnership enables our food supply chain to stay intact and therefore our growers can continue to grow fresh produce at the same level.” says Kirti Mutatkar, Chief Executive Officer of UnitedAg.
“When the COVID-19 crisis hit, and the food service operations all came to a standstill overnight, millions of jobs were lost and with it the demand for our produce. To bring more diverse options to the foodbank, and at the same time recover our cost to grow and harvest it, creative solutions were necessary to take care of those who need it most and help keep agriculture whole.” says A.J. Cisney, General Manager of Rancho Guadalupe.
Deliveries will begin May 5, with nearly 4,000 pounds of strawberries from Andrew & Williamson / Good Farms, Rancho Guadalupe, and over 7,000 crowns of broccoli from Dynasty Farms. These are foods that have not been regularly available at the food banks. The pilot program hopes to expand into the larger state network of food banks (California Association of Food Banks) and increase its product offerings. UnitedAg Member Farms are hopeful this concept will grow into something bigger.
Founded in 1980, UnitedAg is a multi-commodity member-owned agricultural trade association dedicated to providing innovative healthcare solutions for a strong and healthy agricultural industry. Our over 1,000 agriculture affiliated member organizations network and share creative ways to transform our ever-changing industry. UnitedAg strives to bring innovative health benefits and solutions to agribusiness by meeting our member’s employee health benefits needs, advocating for ag with lawmakers and helping members comply with regulations. Based in Irvine, Calif., UnitedAg has offices in Oxnard, Corona, Salinas, Fresno and Santa Maria. For more information, visit www.unitedag.org or contact Maribel Ochoa at 949.471.3206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Alameda County Community Food Bank
Alameda County Community Food Bank—Feeding America’s 2016-2017 Food Bank of the Year–has been at the forefront of hunger relief efforts in the Bay Area since 1985. This year, the Food Bank will distribute the equivalent of 28 million meals. More than half of the food distributed is farm-fresh produce. The Food Bank serves 1 in 5 Alameda County residents by distributing food through a network of 267 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community organizations, as well as direct distribution programs including Children’s Backpack and Mobile Pantry. For 13 consecutive years, Alameda County Community Food Bank has received Charity Navigator’s top rating — Four Stars — ranking the organization among the top 1 percent of charities nationwide. Learn more at www.accfb.org.
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