the agricultural industry of the region; current members of the Board of Directors include De Ann Davis, Western Growers’ Senior Vice President, Science; Tama Bistrian, the Chief Accounting Officer at Taylor Fresh Foods; and Board Treasurer Bill Kirmil, a veteran private label food broker. The Western Growers members that have donated to the bank include Taylor Farms, Driscoll’s, Wish Farms, and the Tanimura Family. “We can go from being one of the most unhealthiest communities to one of the healthiest communities and we can do this because we are part of this phenomenal ag community,” Kendrick said. Produce box all locally grown by BIPOC first-generation farmers

The Food Bank for Monterey County serves 160,000 residents each month.

The Food Bank for Monterey County is the sole source of food and fresh produce that supports 160 non-profit partners in the region. The organization operates over 240 distribution sites, which stock emergency pantries and meal programs that feed more than 10,000 people— including children, seniors, veterans, and the homeless—each week. According to Kendrick, the key to this was to mimic the operations of the agricultural titans in the Salinas Valley, who know a thing or two about keeping produce fresh for as long as possible throughout the supply chain. The Food Bank’s facility is AIB certified and includes cold-storage

capabilities and a fleet of trucks. But besides being a vital part of the organization’s supply chain, these distribution sites are doing double duty. Not only do the employees at the locations make sure produce gets in the hands of the neediest clients, the workers also have an opportunity to interact and educate about nutrition and the availability of healthy choices. It is the most grassroots kind of preventative care available, and it is urgently needed. Currently 50 percent of residents in Monterey County are diabetic or pre-diabetic, a diagnosis that often occurs in tandem with insufficient access

From left: The Food Bank has a cooler of 45,000 square feet so they can recover all produce and take all donations. They have an extensive produce recovery program, ready and able to assist in the implementation of SB1383 including record keeping. 720 solar panels defray cost of the cooler. Right: An additional 55,000 square feet of dry storage.



Western Grower & Shipper | www.wga.com

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