(This article contains excerpts from an article by Janet Zimmerman, published in the Press-Enterprise on September 3, 2014.)
About 30,000 pounds of peaches, honeydew melon and other fruit was delivered to an Inland food bank Wednesday as part of a statewide effort by farmers to feed the needy. Towering columns of boxed produce sat inside the warehouse of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, waiting to be inventoried and made available to more than 400 nonprofit agencies that distribute groceries throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
William D. Carnegie, president of Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, speaks during a news conference Wednesday. Photo credit: David Bauman
In those communities, farmers are paying more for water and have fallowed almost 780 square miles of fields, an area the size of Orange County, said Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition in Sacramento. “We know demand is up, food costs are up and it’s harder for people to make ends meet,” Wade said. “We want people to understand it takes water to grow food.”
Tony Delfin of Shepherd of Faith Ministry, collects food Wednesday at Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside, where Second Harvest officials announced their participation in an effort by Central Valley farmers and the California Farm Water Coalition to supply food during the drought. Photo credit: David Bauman
“This will probably all be gone by tomorrow afternoon,” said Bill Carnegie, the Second Harvest president, gesturing toward the sweet-smelling boxes in his agency’s Jefferson Street warehouse.
Tony Delfin visits the Second Harvest warehouse two or three times a month, where he chooses from fresh produce, rice, granola bars, salsa, flour and other goods. The donations come from Walmart, Target, grocery stores and manufacturers; the items might be dented, mislabeled or close to the expiration date.
“About 400,000 people per month are served by Second Harvest. That’s up 15 percent from last year, mostly because of the faltering job market,” said Carnegie.
The generosity and care shown by all of the donating parties is a model of Riverside acting as a unified city. Riversiders collaborate and work together to build our community and accelerate the common good for all. We are a caring community that has great compassion and engages with one another for a better life for all.
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