Responding to a food shortage and increased demand caused by California’s historic drought, California’s business, agriculture, and civic organizations are partnering with the California Community Food Bank to form the “California Water Feeds our Communities” food drive sending truckloads of food to impacted communities throughout the state.
During the first week of September, 17 trucks loaded with 374 palates of fresh, local produce will be sent to food banks in Merced, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, Watsonville, Salinas, Santa Maria, Oxnard, Riverside and San Diego.
“We are seeing an increased number of people in line at our food banks at the same time that drought conditions have driven up the cost of food, making it difficult to provide for everyone.” said Andy Souza, President and CEO of the Community Food Bank.
The drought has begun to cripple farmers, which in turn is contributing to higher rates of unemployment as additional land lays fallow. The resulting increased cost of business, unemployment and under-employment, along with increased cost of living in every household, has rippled throughout California rocking cities and rural communities alike.
“It will take a community effort to make up for the loss of food our agencies are facing while they’re working to serve lines that are growing longer each day,” said Souza. “We want to be able to support everyone, especially those in our farming communities that don’t have work due to land becoming fallow.”
As food banks take a big hit in current conditions, efforts made by entities such as Fresno Downtown Business Hub, El Agua Es Asunto De Todos, Westlands Water District, and CalWA are making a difference in ensuring that people are fed.
“In times like these, it is important that we all do our part to help one another,” said Aubrey Bettencourt, Executive Director of the California Water Alliance. “We are very excited to join other organizations and California farmers in partnering with the Community Food Bank to bring food to those in greatest need and assist in lessening the devastating effects of the drought.”
California Water Feeds Our Communities will be sending trucks of locally donated food, departing from Fresno, CA, starting on September 3rd to at-risk food banks across California. If you’d like to make a donation to the drive, contact Diana Enriquez at 559-513-8561 or Diana@aguaasuntodetodos.com.