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The owners of Watsonville, Calif.-based California Giant Berry Farms have set up a non-profit to formalize the California Giant Foundation, which supports local organizations by donating more than $100,000 annually to charitable causes.
The California Giant Foundation was established with four pillars that will serve as the inspiration for charitable gifts, events and partnerships:
• Childhood Obesity and School Nutrition – The Foundation’s signature event, Tour de Fresh, will continue to raise funds to put salad bars in schools and increase the demand for food education. Additional organizations that benefit include Santa Cruz Warriors Kids Club, Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools and more.
• Hunger and Food Insecurity – Support to local homeless and hunger-based organizations like Food Bank programs and Grind Out Hunger seek to significantly decrease the number of hungry families in the community.
• Prevention and Awareness – National and local support is given to organizations that affect change by educating and increasing awareness about prevalent diseases. Organizations that benefit include American Cancer Society, Jacob’s Heart (children battling cancer) and Living Breath Foundation (Cystic Fibrosis), among others.
• Community – Support of local health and fitness initiatives that benefit employees of California Giant Berry Farms and their families, including Pajaro Valley Shelter Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates, community sports programs and more.
“It’s always been in the California Giant Berry Farms DNA to support organizations that are making a difference by educating for change,” noted Cindy Jewell, VP of marketing at California Giant Berry Farms, “but formalizing the foundation shows our passion and commitment to support this movement for many years to come. The foundation has given our employees a sense of purpose far beyond providing fresh produce to consumers.”
Tour de Fresh, presented by The California Giant Foundation, is the first-of-its-kind collaborative event that unites brands and influencers in the fresh produce industry for a four-day cycling event in October that raises funds to benefit the Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools campaign.
“We are honored to be able to give the Tour de Fresh a long-term home and look forward to being a leader in this industry movement that is making a positive difference for childhood nutrition,” said Bill Moncovich, president/CEO of California Giant Berry Farms. “We’re also very excited to set higher goals for this year’s ride that include putting 100 or more salad bars in schools.”
The inaugural Tour de Fresh event, in 2014, raised upwards of $142,000 and placed more than 40 salads bars in communities in 11 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
California Giant Berry Farms is a leading provider of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.