Food 4 Less, a locally-owned supermarket group, will donate more than $40,000 of food to local food banks on Thursday, August 2. The food items will be delivered to Gongco Warehouse in Goshen, at which point Community Food Bank will help lead the distribution of the items to more food banks throughout the area. In addition to Community Food Bank, recipients of the food donation will include Merced County Food Bank, Madera County Food Bank, FoodLink for Tulare County, Inc. and Visalia Emergency Aid Council. The donation is intended to help put nutritious food on the tables of struggling families from Merced to Porterville.
Food 4 Less generated the majority of the funds for this donation at its charity golf tournament in May. The organization then collaborated with its partners and vendors to ensure tournament proceeds could acquire as many quality food items as possible and, thus, reach the most families in need. As a result, Food 4 Less will be donating over 6000 cases consisting of Malt-O-Meal cereal, macaroni and cheese, Pagasa spaghetti, Blue Ribbon rice, canned vegetables and Maruchan ramen.
Community Food Bank's CEO, Andy Souza, said that the Food 4 Less donation will make a big impact in helping food relief organizations battle hunger in our local communities. "To address the substantial hunger problem in our Valley, we must continue to work together and combine resources," said Souza. "This support from Food 4 Less advances these efforts and helps ensure that countless local families will not be going to sleep hungry."
Sandy Beals, executive director of FoodLink for Tulare County, said that the Food 4 Less donation comes at a time of critical need, when kids are on summer break and not receiving free school lunches. "Too many children experience malnutrition and hunger as part of their daily lives," said Beals. "We appreciate Food 4 Less stepping up to make healthy food available to these kids." The Food 4 Less donation will assist other parts of the South Valley as well, with donated items also going to Visalia Emergency Aid Council's food pantry – a service that assists more than 1,000 needy families per month.
Likewise, the North Valley will benefit from the Food 4 Less donation to Merced County Food Bank, a nonprofit organization that feeds thousands of hungry people in Merced County. "More than 16,000 families come to us each month for help and we do not want to turn anyone away," said Phyllis Legg, executive director for Merced County Food Bank. "The donation by Food 4 Less will help us achieve that goal and continue fighting hunger in our community. We are thankful for the generosity of organizations such as Food 4 Less that are willing to help in these difficult economic times."
Tom Gong, president of the Central Valley Food 4 Less group, said that his organization is proud to support the efforts of these local food banks. "These organizations are working hard to address the hunger problem that exists in our local communities," said Gong. "We are lucky to have these dedicated food banks provide such a vital service to our communities. The Food 4 Less family is honored to join them in the fight against hunger."