Over a span of eight weeks, The Berry Man, a local wholesale food distributor has donated more than 30,000 lbs. of fresh produce to Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families.
The Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is a crisis-care and residential-treatment facility for foster or at-risk children in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
According to the press release, “It’s mission is to restore hope, enhance resilience, and strengthen community connections for children, young adults and families at the most challenging times of their lives. The agency is the largest non-profit provider of children’s mental health services in both counties, and administers 10 community-based programs designed to strengthen families and keep children in their homes and communities.”
So far, The Berry Man has donated 100, 38-pound boxes of fresh produce every Tuesday to Casa Pacifica’s Camarillo campus. From there, Casa Pacifica’s community-based staff has distributed the boxes all over the county.
According to the press release, “The weekly boxes contain fresh produce, straight from our local farms – apples, pears, blackberries, celery, romaine lettuce, onions, potatoes, cauliflower and oranges. The Berry Man normally supports Casa Pacifica through a donation of its refrigeration trucks for use during the Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival.”
The release states the boxes are a part of The Berry Man’s successful bid on a contract to be a part of USDA’s Farms to Families Food Box Program.
The goal of the Farms to Families Food Box Program is to reconnect distributors and farmers so that families can get the food that they need. Fortunately, The Berry Man has been able to use its successful bid on Food Box Program to connect food banks and other nonprofits to deliver boxes.
According to the press release, “The USDA enacted the Farms to Families Food Box Program because of the breakdown in the supply chain between farmers and distributors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With restaurants closed during the early part of the shelter-in-place order, much of the mass-grown produce was going to waste. Even distributors like The Berry Man found their business down by about 80% during the shelter-in-place order.”
Les Clark, president of The Berry Man, said in the release that they are potentially able to extend their contract with the program if needed.
“It has been our pleasure to be able to set this up. It was a win-win for everyone – the farmers, us, and people in need in the community. Everyone has been so grateful and we’re just happy to be a part of it.” Mr. Clark said in a statement.
For more information about The Berry Man visit https://theberryman.com/wordpress/. For more information about Casa Pacifica visit its website www.casapacifica.org or call the Development & Public Relations Department at (805) 445-7800.