By: California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)
July 31, 2013 - The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will address the issue of hunger in the San Joaquin Valley at its upcoming meeting on August 6th in Fresno. The meeting will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at California State University, Fresno – Satellite Student Union, 2485 E. San Ramon, Fresno, CA 93740.
"The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation and yet we have a number of individuals in these communities who do not know where their next meal is coming from," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "Bringing together the agricultural community with local food banks, faith based organizations and other stakeholders, is an important step in addressing food insecurity in the Valley."
In 2012, the University of California, Los Angeles – Center for Health Policy Research identified that approximately 3.8 million individuals were food-insecure within California. This report also identified the San Joaquin Valley as having one of the highest rates of food insecurity within the state. This meeting will provide an overview of successful farm-to-food bank programs occurring in other areas of the state and provide a forum for local stakeholders to discuss potential initiatives at the local level.
Invited speakers include: Lori Silverbush, director of the documentary A Place at the Table; Sarah Reyes, California Endowment; Genoveva Islas-Hooker, California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley; Lindsay Coate, Ag Against Hunger; Christy Porter, Hidden Harvest; and Gail Gray, California Association of Food Banks. Additional speakers will include California farmers and ranchers as well as representatives from local farm bureaus, food banks, faith based communities, and other community stakeholders.
"Over the last three years the state board has worked to double farm contributions to food banks," said Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture. "Hunger in the San Joaquin Valley, and all of California, is an issue we need to address and farmers can play an important role by working with their local food banks."
The California State Board of Food and Agriculture advises the governor and the CDFA secretary on agricultural issues and consumer needs. The state board conducts forums that bring together local, state and federal government officials, agricultural representative and citizens to discuss current issues of concern to California agriculture.
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