January 29, 2023

How Growers partner with Imperial Valley Food Bank

Sometimes – no matter how carefully farmers plan – they are faced with surplus product. When this happens in the Imperial Valley, growers will often call on Steve Sharp to help them efficiently move fresh fruits and vegetables to those in the community who need it most.

As a food solicitor for the California Association of Food Banks, Sharp works with growers to help move out product to the Imperial Valley Food Bank through the association’s Farm to Family Program.

Farm to Family is a market alternative for farmers and packers with surplus crop, according to the CAFB. It is also a way to strengthen communities by getting nutritious food to those in need.

These types of partnerships are especially crucial because the local food bank feeds about 25,000 Imperial Valley residents each month, shared IVFB Executive Director Sara Griffen.

Currently the food bank is purchasing truckloads of food, which can cost $25,000 to $75,000 depending on the item, Griffen explained.

“Not only are our food prices high, but transportation is high,” Griffen shared. “It’s just like the perfect bad storm, not enough food and too expensive to get it.”

Whether you need your product moved tomorrow or later in the season, contact Sharp anytime to help make a difference in the Imperial Valley today!

Why partner?

Quick Disposal of Surplus Product

With a reliable, on-time pick up from a professional carrier, growers avoid dumping fees, eliminate costs to run a cooler and recoup costs for product that would otherwise be underutilized.

Strengthen Local Communities With Nutritious Food

Any surplus you donate will automatically be offered to your local food bank first, which enables you to give back to your community and can generate positive publicity for your business.

10% Tax Credit

California growers donating California-grown fresh fruits or fresh vegetables to a food bank in state are eligible for the 10% tax credit. The law defines an eligible grower as the person responsible for planting, managing, and harvesting the donated crop. Note that a tax credit is different than a deduction and results in greater savings to the grower than a deduction of equal amount.

How it works

  1. Call Steve Sharp at 760-497-4720 when you have produce you would like to donate in the Valley.

  2. He will quickly send a truck – either from our fleet or a trusted carrier – to pick up the donation.

  3. Your donation will be distributed through the food bank system within the community of Imperial County.

  4. Donors can receive documentation to help secure a tax credit.

Contact CAFB Food Solicitor Steve Sharp at 760-497-4720