Ag Against Hunger becomes a core program of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation
Group to focus on gleaning, education and food security
SALINAS, Calif – April 23, 2019 – The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation (GSAF), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and educating the social and economic value agriculture brings to the community, is pleased to announce the adoption of Ag Against Hunger as their newest educational program.
Grower-Shipper Association Foundation’s decision to adopt Ag Against Hunger is part of the nonprofit’s strategy to educate and inform Central Coast communities about the positive impact agriculture makes to all our lives. Alongside salad bar initiative More Produce in Schools, executive training program AgKnowledge and their Greater Vision series (in partnership with California State University, Monterey Bay), Ag Against Hunger will complement the Foundation’s overall effectiveness by increasing gleaning opportunities, educational and health-focused programming.
Lorri Koster, former chairman and CEO of Mann Packing Company, is one of the early leaders of Ag Against Hunger and served on a task force to see how the non-profit may evolve to avoid a duplication of services with the food bank and enhance gleaning and outreach programs. Koster is also a board member of the GSA Foundation. She comments, “Now that the Food Bank for Monterey County’s new, expanded facility is open, transitioning Ag Against Hunger to strictly a gleaning and advocacy organization is a real win-win. This new model will avoid unnecessary duplication in the food distribution system. The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is ideally suited to add Ag Against Hunger as one of our programs with a focus on expanding gleaning and outreach opportunities. The ag community has always been committed to feeding the hungry. Now, between the food bank distribution system and Ag Against Hunger’s expanded gleans, hungry people in our communities will get even more fresh produce on their tables.”
For the past 25 years, Ag Against Hunger has focused on promoting the accessibility of fresh produce to those in need in local communities, donating some 11 million pounds of fresh produce annually. This effort will be continued by the Food Bank for Monterey County who will now be handling the distribution of fresh produce donations, allowing locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to serve one in five residents in Monterey County that struggle with hunger insecurity.
“We are excited to work with Ag Against Hunger and the team at the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation to strategically leverage the strengths of our organizations to help alleviate hunger in Monterey County,” said Melissa Kendrick, Executive Director of the Food Bank for Monterey County. “34 percent of County residents are food insecure. When such a large swath of the community is hungry, it has a detrimental effect on the economy, schools, workplaces, healthcare systems, and neighborhoods. If we want our county to flourish, we must first nourish our friends and neighbors in need. By supplying produce with the help of our generous Ag partners, we are making a meaningful impact on the lives of our most vulnerable residents.”
Alicia Cask, Program Manager with Ag Against Hunger will be joining the staff of GSAF working alongside Lisa Dobbins, the Foundation’s Executive Director. Cask will be coordinating gleans and other fresh produce outreach opportunities. Ag Against Hunger, in conjunction with GSAF, will continue to host their popular Ag Women of the Year luncheon as well as the entertaining ag industry mascot race at the California Rodeo. Several Ag Against Hunger Board members will continue to serve on the Ag Against Hunger committee within the Foundation.
“We are pleased to announce that Ag Against Hunger is now a program of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation,” said Jason Smith, Chairman, Grower-Shipper Association. “Together, we can further serve the community in a new way to fight hunger and improve our focus on education and health as we work with our agricultural industry partners.”
ABOUT GROWER-SHIPPER ASSOCIATION FOUNDATION
The Grower-Shipper Association Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and educate about the health, social and cultural benefits of agriculture to the community and society as a whole. www.growershipperfoundation.org
Lisa Dobbins, Executive Director, Grower-Shipper Association Foundation
Cell: (831) 588-4505
512 Pajaro Street
Salinas CA 93901
Ph. 831 422 9007Ag Against Hunger becomes a core program of the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation