Despite brisk morning temperatures last Thursday, California State employees stepped outside to drop off fresh fruit and vegetable donations as part of the 2015 State Employees Food Drive. The event, organized by the Department of Public Health, Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services, marked a great way to contribute fresh produce over traditional nonperishable food drive items. Tables lined the sidewalk across from Public Health headquarters along Capitol Park from 6 to 10 AM. Potatoes, winter squash, oranges, and onions quickly filled the bottom of large bins set up along the sidewalk. A Food Bank truck was parked on site ready to quickly transport donations back to their warehouse for distribution.
“It’s great to see employees recognizing the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables at the table,” remarked Carrie Black, of CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork. “There are so many healthy items available this time of year and so many people in need.” CDFA serves as the statewide coordinator for the State Employees Food Drive and this is the first year that the Office of Farm to Fork will take the lead.
The Department of Public Health makes these food drives a priority. Planning begins as early as February for the holiday season. For this event Public Health also worked with local farms to garner large donations of onions, spaghetti squash, and mushrooms. Many employees who wanted to make a last minute donation ran to nearby markets to purchase items.
The morning event helps kick off the 2015 State Employees Food Drive, which has been collecting donations since 1975. The drive will continue until January 15, 2016 with over 550 donation bins for nonperishable foods located around entrances to State Departments across Sacramento. Monetary donations to CDFA’s team can also be made to support the cause. More information is available at http://www.fooddrive.ca.gov/.