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Asm. Bains, Ag partners fight food insecurity in Kern County

For immediate release:

(Delano, CA) Mar. 22, 2024 - Oranges and other fresh produce donations will now be a bit colder and last a little longer thanks to a new commercial refrigeration unit donated to the First Assembly of God Church in Delano.

Dr. Jasmeet Bains (D-Delano), First Assembly of God Pastor Larry Sullivan, and representatives from the dairy and citrus industries cut the ribbon on the new refrigeration unit on Friday. The First Assembly of God Church on 9th Ave in Delano hosts regular food distributions for those experiencing food insecurity in the area.

“The Central Valley feeds the world; today, that is more than just a slogan. Our agricultural partners consistently show they are willing to give back and fight food insecurity in some of our most disadvantaged and underserved communities,” said Dr. Bains.

California Dairies donated the refrigeration unit to help ensure donated food would last longer and stay fresher.

"As part of California Dairies, Inc. (CDI) continuous efforts to give back, we're proud to highlight the contribution of an industrial refrigerator to support Delano’s First Assembly of God Soup Kitchen Without Walls. This donation will significantly enhance the efforts of First Assmembly’s food pantry to provide healthy, fresh, and nutritious food to the Delano community. Achieved through CDI’s collaboration with the Alliance of California's Farmers and Ranchers Community Fund, this is a testament to how the agricultural industry is uniting to uplift the people and communities that have given so much to us," said Darrin Monteiro, Vice President of Sustainability, California Dairies, Inc.

Local grower Johnston Farms also commemorated the event by delivering a truckload of citrus to the First Assembly Church on Friday. Citrus stays fresher longer when kept in cold places.

"At Johnston Farms, we believe in the power of giving back and nurturing the community that has supported us throughout the years. This belief is not just a principle; it's a practice. We are immensely proud to contribute fresh citrus to the First Assembly food bank in Delano to support our broader Central Valley community. This donation is our way of saying thank you and ensuring that our neighbors have access to fresh, nutritious food," said Jaclyn Johnston Green, Partner at Johnston Farms.

The ribbon cutting and significant citrus gift come at the end of National Ag Week, which runs from March 17 to March 23 every year and celebrates the agricultural industry and the food, products, and jobs it creates.

Pastor Sullivan and Dr. Bains’ team organized an additional food distribution following the ribbon cutting.

LINK to Livestream of press conference and ribbon cutting: