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The Berry Man donates more than 30,000 lbs of fresh produce to Casa Pacifica

July 15, 2020


A California Non-profit 501(C)(3)

Contact: Carrie Hughes
Phone: 805-366-4011
For: Assignment Editor

The Berry Man donates more than 30,000 lbs. of fresh produce to Casa Pacifica

Camarillo, CA – The Berry Man donated 100, 38 lb. boxes of fresh produce to Casa Pacifica over the span of eight weeks. The Berry Man successfully bid on a contract to be part of the USDA Farms to Families Food Box Program. Les Clark, President of The Berry Man said, “We wanted to bring this great resource back to our community.” Every Tuesday, The Berry Man drops off the boxes at Casa Pacifica’s Camarillo campus and Casa Pacifica’s community-based staff distributes the boxes to families all over the county. The weekly boxes contain fresh produce, straight from our local farms – apples, pears, blackberries, celery, romaine lettuce, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, and oranges. The Berry Man normally supports Casa Pacifica through a donation of their refrigeration trucks for use during the Angels Wine, Food & Brew Festival.

Les Clark commented on the outpouring of gratitude from the community, “It has been our pleasure to be able to set this up. It was a win-win for everyone – the farmers, us, and people in need in the community. Everyone has been so grateful and we’re just happy to be a part of it.”

The USDA enacted the Farms to Families Food Box Program because of the breakdown in the supply chain between farmers and distributors due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With restaurants closed during the early part of the shelter-in-place order, much of the mass grown produce was going to waste. Even distributors like The Berry Man found their business down by about 80% during the shelter-in-place order. The goal was to reconnect distributors and farmers in order to get the food to families in need. With their successful bid on Food Box Program, The Berry Man has been connecting with food banks and other nonprofits to deliver boxes. “We were delivering boxes the first day we were able to and we’ve been delivering ever since.” Clark says there is potential to extend their contract and they hope to do so.

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Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families is a crisis-care and residential treatment facility for foster or at-risk children in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Its mission is to restore hope, enhance resilience, and strengthen community connections for children, young adults and families at the most challenging times of their lives. The agency is the largest non-profit provider of children’s mental health services in both counties and administers ten community-based programs designed to strengthen families and keep children in their homes and communities. One of those community based programs is their foster family agency, which recruits and trains families for potential placement with a foster youth. Camino a Casa by Casa Pacifica is a private insurance program designed to offer Casa Pacifica’s high-quality mental health services to private insurance youth. For more information about Casa Pacifica visit its website or call the Development & Public Relations Department at (805) 445-7800.