Our Programs Are Simple – We Collect and Distribute Fresh, Surplus Produce
We run a Harvest Program. Over 50 local growers and shippers call us when there is a surplus of produce. Surplus can happen for a variety of reasons, such as the demand declining for a certain product. That’s when growers and shippers call us! We send our trucks to pick-up their surplus produce, bring it back to our cooler for a short storage period, then distribute that produce to our food bank partners. To see a list of our produce donors, visit our sponsors page.
We have a More Produce for Schools program. This program provides free fresh produce to local schools and after-school programs. This program was created by a partnership of local nonprofits and businesses. The organizations that we have partnered with for this program include HELP, the Food Bank for Monterey County, the Grower-Shipper Association Foundation and Fresh from D’Vine. The More Produce for Schools program is bringing fresh and nutritious produce to over 32,000 students in Monterey County and provides them with a more balanced lunch-time meal. See videos below for two testimonials from participants in this program.
We run a Winter Produce program. From January through March, there is not much surplus produce on the central coast. But, we still receive produce for our local and surrounding area food banks. Once a week, we rent a truck that travels to the Imperial Valley and Yuma Arizona to pick-up fresh, surplus produce from growers and shippers.
We have a Produce Sharing program. Full truckloads of locally grown product are traded for produce not grown on the Central Coast. This product is shared between the first two tiers of food banks.
We Consolidate the Fresh, Surplus Produce at our Cooler
Our cooler is large enough to accommodate multiple truckloads so that no produce goes to waste. We break-up loads so that several food banks will receive the same product. Our cooler is located at 495 Brunken Ave, Salinas, CA 93901. If you would like to donate produce, please call our cooler at 831-759-9057.
We Distribute the Produce to Food Banks and Non-Profit Agencies
We distribute our produce to four different levels of food banks and other non-profit agencies. Our primary recipients are food banks in the tri-county area. After they have been satisfied, we provide produce to surrounding area food banks. After they have been satisfied, our produce is then available to California FoodLink and state-wide food banks. After all food banks in California are satisfied, our produce is then available to out-of-state food banks in Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Washington. For a list of food banks we supply, please visit our produce distribution page.
Food Banks Give the Fresh Produce to People in Need
After the produce reaches the food banks, it is then distributed to shelters, meals on wheels, group homes, emergency food distributors, rehab centers, and soup kitchens.