Central Valley Community Bank is having its second annual Food Fund Challenge to help feed the hungry in communities hardest hit by the prolonged drought.
The bank is giving $5,000 to eight food banks in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced, Tulare, Fresno, Madera and Sacramento counties and has challenged other Valley businesses to do the same. For every $1 donated, qualified food banks are able to buy up to $9 worth of food through bulk food partnerships, according to a news release from the Fresno-based bank.
Through Oct. 31, the bank is also collecting donations of cash and checks at its Modesto office, 2020 Standiford Ave., Suite H, to specifically benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Manteca-based Second Harvest helps more than 35,000 people in need each month throughout San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, according to its website, www.localfoodbank.org.
With California in its fourth year of drought, Valley agriculture and jobs have seen significant tolls. A 2015 report by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences estimates that the drought may result in statewide losses as high as $2.74 billion to agriculture and related industries and job losses close to 21,000.
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“These devastating numbers put extra strain on our local food banks as they strive to help those who have nowhere else to go,” says a news release from Central Valley Community Bank. “San Joaquin Valley food banks cannot meet their needs without communities coming together to support them.”