Photos from June delivery to His R.A.F.T., Inc, courtesy of John Seave.
By Sara Serfaty June 29, 2020
This month, The Farmlink Project delivered 182,500 pounds of cabbage and mixed greens divided among ten shipments from Taylor Farms to six food banks and distributors across California. At the same time, California’s unemployment reached a record high as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, straining local food banks (CA Employment Development Department).
His R.A.F.T. Inc., a bulk food distributor in Stockton, California, most recently received 16,500 pounds of mixed greens on Saturday and received an earlier shipment of 16,500 pounds of mixed greens two weeks ago. His R.A.F.T. Inc. currently distributes wholesale products to 26 food pantries and food banks across Northern California. John Seave, the cooperative’s director, estimates they reach 7,500 families per month, and the COVID-19 crisis has expanded their reach and visibility, leading to the creation of new partnerships from both suppliers and food banks. His R.A.F.T. Inc. currently distributes wholesale products to 26 food pantries and food banks across Northern California.
Heart of Compassion, a food bank in Montebello, California, received a similar donation last Wednesday of mixed produce from Taylor Farms. Eric Tietze, the organization’s founder, highlighted the increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Before the pandemic, they distributed an average of 300,000 pounds of food per week; they now distribute over 800,000 pounds of food weekly. Heart of Compassion runs its own distribution network at a local high school and supplies smaller food banks throughout Southern California. Eric noted that the donations Heart of Compassion has received through The Farmlink Project are especially helpful because The Farmlink Project donates fresh produce as opposed to processed food. “By supplying the resources we need, you enable us to feed at Heart of Compassion [without] adding to the problem of hypertension [and] diabetes”—health conditions that often occur as a result of lack of access to healthful foods.
Children’s Hunger Fund (CHF) in Southern California and Texas received three donations of mixed greens in the past month totaling almost 50,000 pounds. CHF operates on a unique model where volunteers deliver produce and nonperishable food items to the families they serve, fostering a sense of kinship among volunteers and recipients.
Food Forward, which received over 50,000 pounds of cabbage divided between two shipments, is a nonprofit with a mission similar to that of The Farmlink Project—mitigating food waste and distributing recovered food to those in need. Food Forward typically sources from a variety of private and public gardens, as well as farmer’s markets, supplying smaller distributors across eight Southern California counties.
North State Food Bank received 16,500 pounds of mixed produce earlier this month. North State serves six counties across Northern California and reaches approximately 45,000 individuals monthly. Love Community Outreach, which operates weekly food distributions in Santa Ana, California, received a donation of 16,500 pounds of mixed greens on June 11.
The Farmlink Project is proud to facilitate the distribution of fresh produce across California and looks forward to continuing to alleviate hunger in California and beyond.