CAMARILLO, Calif. -- The Berry Man will donate a hundred 38 pound boxes of fresh produce to Casa Pacifica, an program that helps at-risk children in Camarillo on Wednesday.
The donation is estimated to cover the span of eight weeks.
This comes after the Berry Man successfully bid on a contract to be part of the USDA Farms to Families Food Box Program.
The USDA enacted the Farms to Families Food Box Program because of the breakdown in the supply chain between farmers and distributors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Due to restuarants being closed during the early part of the shelter-in-place order, much of the mass grown produce was going to waste.
Distributors like The Berry Man found their business down by about 80% during the shelter-in-place order.
The goal was to reconnect distributors and farmers in order to get the food to families in need. With their successful bid on Food Box Program, The Berry Man has been connecting with food banks and other nonprofits to deliver boxes.
Les Clark, the President of The Berry Man said, “It has been our pleasure to be able to set this up. It was a win-win for everyone – the farmers, us, and people in need in the community. Everyone has been so grateful and we’re just happy to be a part of it.”
Every Tuesday, The Berry Man will drop off the boxes at Casa Pacifica's Camarillo campus and the organization's community based staff members will distribute the boxes to families all over Santa Barabra County.
The weekly boxes contain fresh produce including apples, pears, blackberries, celery, romaine lettuce, onions, potatoes, cauliflower and oranges.
The Berry Man normally supports Casa Pacifica through a donation of their refrigeration trucks for use during Angels Wine, Food and Brew Festival.
“We were delivering boxes the first day we were able to and we’ve been delivering ever since.” Clark says there is potential to extend their contract and they hope to do so.
Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is a crisis care and residential treatment facility for foster or at-risk children in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
The agency is the largest non-profit provider of children's mental health services in both counties.
For more information on Casa Pacifica, click here.