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Maria Gaura's Blog

At the first meeting in L.A. we could see that we were not the only ones feeling torn between the... more »
posted 11/03/11
In recent years it has become apparent that the poor quality of processed food is driving an... more »
posted 04/15/11

Maria Gaura's Work

An estimated 20 percent of all field crops grown on California’s Central Coast are left in the field or thrown out at the packing shed. Volunteers for a farmer-run non-profit in Santa Cruz salvage the surplus and send them to local food banks.

Farmers in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties donate thousands of tons of fresh fruits and vegetables to food banks every year, supply feeding centers as far away as Washington and Colorado. It’s a massive foodlift operation that all began 38 years ago with a freezer full of slightly yellow cauliflower.

When California’s first food bank opened in this Central Coast city in 1972, its mission was simple and practical: eliminate hunger by collecting society’s surplus food and giving it to people in need. But over the years, the mix of donated foods has changed dramatically. Here's why.