The Hungry

 

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink.

I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home." Matthew 25:35

 

Did you know?

41 million Americans face hunger every day.

It’s an issue that affects all genders, ethnicities, ages and backgrounds. One 2018 U.S. study identified that 1 in 10 working adults and 1 in 6 children live in homes that cannot always afford enough food. Research also indicates that senior citizens are the fastest-growing food insecure population in the United States. The tragedy is that 40% of all food produced in America is wasted. Through our initiatives and partnerships, we are making a significant difference in reversing these statistics

 

How can you make a difference?

Senior Sack

Each month, many seniors with a meager income are forced to decide which necessities to pay for; rent, prescriptions, food, etc. Many seniors struggle to make ends meet and are unable to afford nutritious meals. Senior Sack partners with local food banks to receive bulk food deliveries that seniors can come and receive free of charge twice a month. They also provide a warm cup of coffee and conversation for many who struggle with loneliness. Senior Sack operates out of Florence Gardens, our beautiful independent senior living facility right on the Canyon Hills campus in Bakersfield.

 

 

Truck to Trunk Outreaches

In 2020, we partnered with CityServe to feed families in our community who were struggling to put food on their tables. The pandemic brought hardships to many families and they found themselves wondering how they were going to feed their loved ones. Thanks to the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program, we were able to provide thousands of 30lb. boxes of fresh vegetables and fruits, meat and dairy in our community for free. The product given away is top of the line in terms of freshness and quality. These are not just leftovers, but premium food, much of which comes from farms right here in the central valley. 

 

 

Waste Hunger, Not Food

Waste Hunger Not Food takes edible, surplus food from restaurants, schools, and markets that otherwise may be wasted and distributes it to those in need. Every day, 116,000 people in Kern County do not know where their next meal is coming from. Forty percent of all food produced in America is wasted, and wasted food consumes 21% of all freshwater, 18% of all cropland, and 21% of all landfill volume.

 

Led by Kern County Department of Public Health Services, Waste Hunger, Not Food Kern County rescues surplus, edible food from restaurants, schools, and markets that might otherwise have been wasted and distributes it to those in need.

 

Grant funding from CalRecycle and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals allows Kern County Public Health to oversee and coordinate the transport of donated surplus food from local restaurants, schools, and markets to local distribution sites where the food will be made available to local residents in need. Participants in Kern County Homeless Shelter’s job development program drive the refrigerated vehicles transporting the surplus food from donating food facilities, and delivering it to Kern County donation sites. As food safety is of utmost importance, each driver is trained by the Kern County Environmental Health Division on proper food handling and transport.

 

Since the launch of its pilot program in September 2018, Canyon Hills has hosted two of the weekly food distribution sites and worked closely with the County to develop the program in our community.

 

Jenni Krippner

CityServe Director: The Hungry Initiative