The Community Action Partnership of Kern Food Bank (CAPK Food Bank), in partnership with Golden Empire Transit (GET Bus), will once again hold the “Stuff the Bus” Food Drive from 4:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, March 31, at the Sears Parking Lot of the Valley Plaza Mall, which is located at Ming Avenue and Wible Road in Bakersfield.
Stuff the Bus is a way for the entire community to “get on board” with GET Bus and the CAPK Food Bank in the fight against hunger by stuffing a bus, generously loaned by GET, full of non-perishable food items and monetary donations in one day.
GET CEO Karen King said, “The Stuff the Bus Food Drive provides an opportunity for GET to give back to our community and help fight hunger in Kern County.”
The CAPK Food Bank’s volume of food distributed in the last four years provides a good example of how much Kern County’s hunger needs have grown, especially in the recent period of drought our state and county have experienced:
- 2013: More than 9 million lbs. distributed
- 2014: More than 12 million lbs. distributed
- 2015: More than 13.5 million lbs. distributed
- 2016: More than 13.6 million lbs. distributed
“Kern County and Bakersfield have some of the highest food insecurity rates in the nation. The hunger problem is much larger than any one agency can tackle, and we need the entire community to step up and help us out more than ever, said CAPK’s Executive Director Jeremy Tobias. “With a community partner like GET Bus, which makes donating to the Food Bank really fun with an event like Stuff the Bus, we know we can get a lot of people on board in the fight against hunger.”
Bakersfield College, which partners with the CAPK Food Bank to fight hunger among its students, is to be commended for generously sponsoring Stuff the Bus again at the Gold Level ($2,500) this year. Other sponsors include Silver Level ($1,000) Sponsor IKEA, and Bronze Level ($500) Sponsors Dignity Health, Union Bank and Hula Worship. Media Sponsors include KERO 23 ABC, 103.9 FM The Beat, 92.5 FM La Campesina Radio, Wells Fargo and Sangera Subaru.
Besides receiving food donations, the Stuff the Bus effort also aims to raise up to $20,000 to help offset costs associated with food warehousing, transportation and other overhead expenses that are necessary in feeding the hungry, so the public is encouraged to consider monetary donations as another way to help the Food Bank.
Not Just a Food Drive: Stuff the Bus is Also a Resource Fair for the Community!
From 12 to 5 p.m. on Stuff the Bus Day, the following agencies will hold a resource fair next to the food collection bus, so that as donors drop off their food or monetary gifts, they can pick up information about useful community services:
- CAPK, including programs such as Head Start and 2-1-1 Kern County Information and Referral
- Omni Family Health
- California Veterans Assistance Foundation
- Clinica Sierra Vista’s South East Neighborhood Partnership Family Resource Center
- UEI College
- Independent Living Center of Kern County
- Winegard Energy ESAP (Energy Savings Assistance Program)
- Fresno Pacific University