Foster Farms kicked off the holiday season with a donation of 4,000 turkeys – or 64,000 pounds – to six food banks in California, Oregon and Washington. The holiday donations, an annual tradition for Foster Farms, help address the issue of food insecurity on the West Coast. Each food bank received 640-700 turkeys, or 10,000-11,000 pounds, to help serve a total of more than 66,000 meals. Protein is one of the most needed items at food banks and Foster Farms is working to provide greater access to lean protein.
Through its holiday turkey donation program, Foster Farms aims to draw attention to the millions of West Coast individuals who do not have enough to eat. In both California and Washington, roughly 1 in 7 households – or about 14 percent of all households – did not have enough to eat at some point during 2014. In Oregon, approximately 1 in 6 households are food insecure. These numbers are felt more acutely during the winter months when people rely more heavily on food banks for their next meal.
“Giving back to the communities we serve is a priority for us,” said Foster Farms Director of Communications Ira Brill. “Every family deserves a traditional holiday meal. Our intent is to provide West Coast families with a hearty meal while addressing the need for food donations – and much-needed protein – especially during the holiday season. We hope other companies and individuals will join Foster Farms in donating.”
“Turning away families in need because we don’t have enough turkeys is our worst case scenario,” said Paul Ash, executive director of the SF-Marin Food Bank, who was concerned going into this year’s holiday season due to rumors of turkey shortages nationwide. “We were fortunate to have been able to serve a proper Thanksgiving meal to our participants this year and are grateful to a trusted partner like Foster Farms for helping making it possible.” The SF-Marin Food Bank is one of several Foster Farms partner food banks that benefited from the nearly 64,000 pounds of turkey donated this holiday season.
In partnership with West Coast food banks throughout 2015, Foster Farms helped serve more than 110,000 meals – or 106,300 pounds of poultry – in California, Oregon and Washington. In addition, Foster Farms’ Food 4 Thought program with Second Harvest Food Bank has provided 4,500 Central Valley elementary school students with more than 1.3 million pounds of food since 2009.
The company also had the honor of raising this year’s National Thanksgiving Turkey that was pardoned by President Obama at the annual White House ceremony on Nov. 25.