Who We Are Helping
Surplus produce collected by Ag Against Hunger is distributed to 30 food bank partners locally and throughout the West Coast. From those food banks, this produce is distributed to shelters, meals on wheels, group homes, emergency food distributors, rehab centers and soup kitchens. Through our network of partners, fresh, nutritious produce is provided to over 3 million people, with 165,000 of those people living right here in the tri-county area of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. Without services like those provided by Ag Against Hunger, food banks would have to purchase fresh produce to provide to those they serve, adding an undue burden to their operation expenses. Our goal is to satisfy all of our partners’ fresh produce needs, so that no one has to go without.
So many schools in our local community are unable to provide students with fresh fruits and vegetables as a part of school lunches. For this reason, Ag Against Hunger, along with a collaborative of non-profits and local businesses, created the More Produce for Schools program. This program is bringing fresh and nutritious produce into local schools in an effort to provide students with a more balanced lunch-time meal.
Currently, there are five school districts enrolled in the program: Salinas Union High School, Alisal Union, Greenfield, King City, and North Monterey County. The afterschool programs, Head Start and The Village Project, are also enrolled. This program is helping 32,000 students have more access to healthy, fresh food.
When growers have surplus produce in their fields, they have several options to take care of it, all of which cost them money. Without programs like Ag Against Hunger’s, most surplus produce would either be dumped or tilled back into the ground. By donating their surplus to Ag Against Hunger, growers avoid costly dumping fees and prevent needless waste.
Additionally, with our gleaning program, we send volunteers out into the fields to harvest surplus produce, allowing growers to utilize their harvesting crews for produce that they can sell, instead of spending time harvesting produce that would be dumped. The gleaned surplus produce then goes to our local food bank partners for those in need, instead of being wasted.