Oxnard Growers Participate in the Oxnard School District Food Distribution Program
- by Anne Allen
OXNARD, CA - As demand for fresh produce spikes in the wake of COVID-19, California companies like Bobalu Berries, Chuy & Sons, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, and San Miguel Produce are seeing an unprecedented uptick in produce sales. Each of these companies are working tirelessly to meet the needs for both their customers and the shoppers that peruse their shelves. On top of that, they are also supporting their employees, who work every day to bring produce to retailers, and the communities in which they grow their food.
“We are so impressed with our team in the field and how they are embracing the responsibility of serving as essential employees,” stated Bobby Jones, President and Partner of Bobalu Berries. “As we make constant change in the fields, responding to spring weather along with this global challenge, we are inspired by the support we receive every day.”
Both Bobby Jones and Partner RC Jones wanted to take the commitment to their community one step further, recently offering donations of fresh strawberries to local school districts.
These donations went to school children and their families picking up lunches in the community.
“We know there are still families that rely on school lunch every day to get them through difficult times. We are trying to make a difference providing fresh berries for each family to enjoy every week as we work through this crisis together,” remarked Bobby Jones.
With assistance from the United Fresh Produce Association, the Jones family reached out to the Oxnard School Districts and quickly implemented a plan that brought donations of fresh strawberries to 4,000 elementary school families picking up weekly food packages.
“We all know there is a need across our country to make sure kids and families are fed as we struggle through this global crisis,” commented Cindy Jewell, Founder of SCJewell, who recently partnered with Bobalu Berries to collaborate on the company’s branding. “However, when you walk into your local elementary school cafeteria and see staff there compiling thousands of bags of food, milk, and juice and then look outside and see a long line of parents and kids waiting, it hits you."
In addition, the Jones family is also donating thousands of pounds of berries to Oxnard High School District students, who are continuing to eat lunches provided every day.
Cindy continued, "Bobby Jones and RC Jones’s call to the school district to simply donate berries for school lunch has turned into a bigger gesture than they thought it would be. They are delivering berries, yes, but the smiles and appreciation by both the employees working the front lines and the families in line took them both back a little. Having the chance to help at a community level like this and see families helping families is so heartwarming."
Bobalu Berries provides direct delivery to the schools and picks up the empty containers to ensure that staff aren’t bogged down by additional logistic challenges. Alongside large companies within Oxnard, Bobalu Berries is also encouraging smaller family farming companies throughout California and the U.S. to do the best they can to step into action and make a difference.
“This is a time when we can all pull together as an industry and support our neighbors,” Bobby Jones concluded.
The team will also be assembling bags for school foodservice employees to ensure they have fresh and healthy food to share with their families. The bags will include strawberries from Bobalu, avocados from Chuy & Sons, celery from Duda Farm Fresh Foods, and kale from San Miguel Produce.
A heartwarming story, indeed! Keep reading AndNowUKnow as we cover the latest in produce.