LIVINGSTON, Calif. (PRNewswire) — In preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday, and to address the growing issue of food insecurity, Foster Farms has donated more than 81,000 pounds of turkey to six West Coast food banks. The turkeys will be distributed to local communities and families in California, Oregon and Washington to help feed needy families this Thanksgiving. Each food bank received 750 turkeys - or 13,500 pounds of turkey. Collectively, Foster Farms' Thanksgiving donations will help feed up to 84,000 people this holiday.
Foster Farms Director of Communications Ira Brill is hoping the company's turkey donations will bring greater awareness to the issue of food insecurity on the West Coast. "If Foster Farms' donations encourage other companies and individuals to follow suit with donations of their own, we can reach even more families," said Brill. "You can't put a value on an old-fashioned turkey dinner with family over the holidays. We are honored to play a part in helping families enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal this year."
"We live in such an affluent area, and yet, every week, we serve 144,000 people. Many might not realize so many people are hungry in San Francisco and Marin. We do the best we can through the support of the community, but it's especially tough around the holidays when so many people are counting on us for their next meal," said Paul Ash, Executive Director of the SF-Marin Food Bank, one of the six food bank recipients of Foster Farms' turkey donations. "We're very excited to start off this holiday season with such a large donation from Foster Farms, and we're hoping the community takes up the call and helps out in the months to come."
According to a 2014 modern day dinner survey of 2,000 West Coast consumers commissioned by Foster Farms, more than one-third of families are unaware that 49 million Americans – nearly 15 percent of American households – do not have enough to eat, what food assistance organizations term "food insecure."
Foster Farms' Thanksgiving turkey donations to West Coast food banks are just one of its many community outreach programs. Through its "Pass the Plate" program, also in partnership with these same food banks, the company provided 1,875 local families (7,500 people) with more than 24,000 complete chicken dinners throughout the summer. Foster Farms also supports more than 750 Central Valley elementary students through the Food 4 Thought program where participating students spend eight hours of weekly after-school programs in exchange for a 15- to 18-pound bag of groceries provided twice monthly. Since its start in 2009, the Foster Farms-sponsored Food 4 Thought program has provided 3,750 students and their families with over 1.1 million pounds of food.