Willie Thompson (co-founder of Siskiyou Community Food Bank) and two volunteers from Free the Need in front of two tons of potatoes going to elderly and immunocompromised members of the Klamath River community.
By Christina Knight May 20, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the issue of food insecurity in Yreka, a secluded city in Siskiyou County, California, and surrounding regions. Thanks to your support, we were able to deliver 42,500 pounds of potatoes from Desert Ridge Produce in Washington down to Siskiyou. The shipment we brought equates to roughly 100,000 potatoes and 35,000 meals distributed to those in need.
When news of our delivery spread, scores of community members, health-care workers, and two Native American communities came out to meet the truck and pick up food. The whole town, thrilled by the incoming donation, greeted the arrival of the two Farmlink Project team members facilitating the distribution of the potatoes. The three largest recipients of this delivery came from isolated communities around the region—representatives from the Karuk tribe, the Modoc tribe, and Free the Need, a nonprofit organization, picked up significant quantities of potatoes to deliver them to nearby reservations. Two members of Free the Need told us that the food would help families with young children in outlying areas who do not always have adequate resources at their disposal. Free the Need also delivered two tons of potatoes to elderly folks along the Klamath river who cannot leave their homes. Additionally, essential workers and healthcare professionals were able to drive by for ten, twenty, or thirty pound bags, and we placed the potatoes directly in their cars.
Food banks from the surrounding areas each came to pick up one to two tons of potatoes to distribute throughout the community. When asked about the shipment, the Siskiyou Community Food Bank responded, “We’re over the moon excited! We thank everybody—and if you need a potato, come down and get it!”