23ABC Community Connection


CAPK hosts Feed The Need Day at the Kern County Fair

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Sep 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-26 16:35:12-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) hosted Feed The Need Day at the Kern County Fair on Monday, September 26th. Those who donated six or more nonperishable cans of food received free entry into the fair.

CAPK donates food to less fortunate Kern County citizens throughout the year, storing it in the CAPK Food Bank and hosting giveaways regularly.

"We'll take that food and help people across Kern County deal with hunger and food insecurity," said James Burger, the Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator for CAPK. "The wonderful thing about food drives is that we're able to get foods that don't typically come in our bulk purchases. We are looking for those canned soups, canned foods, canned meats, pasta, whatever you can bring that is going to create a meal for someone is really prized."

CAPK is not the only organization in Kern County holding food drives for those in need. Programs like Catholic Charities and Stay Focused Ministries are also working to ease the burden of food insecurity on low-income residents.

"People are going through food a lot faster and then as prices go up, food is going up. So they're just trying to find different ways to feed themself, as well as their families," said Mercedes Mayers of Stay Focused Ministries. "Most popular is anything dairy and then, of course, any kind of meat."

Joseph White is one of many who have fallen on hard times in Kern County. According to him, milk and dairy have specifically become a treasure at food distributions. "Milk, because it does the body good. I like the meats, the breads, and especially the canned goods because the canned goods, the vegetables and stuff like that, nourish the body and sustain our bodies."

White has experienced a difficult few months, as have many others. Between inflation and supply chain backups, food prices are skyrocketing. For White, he says it’s been about three months now that he and his family have felt the strain to get groceries.

"If it weren’t for these programs, I don’t think we would survive. It seems like everything is affected, the economy, everything," explained White. “My significant other and our three children, it’s just affected all of us as a whole. The economy is in turmoil and there’s no food in the refrigerator and if weren’t for Catholic Charities and other programs like this, I don’t think we could survive or my family would survive, and that’s being honest.”

James Burger agrees that economy has been affected.

"The need is there. We're seeing more requests for food from all of our 150 partners across Kern County," said Burger. "People are calling in more for food to our 2-1-1 call line. The need is growing and inflation is impacting people's ability to buy food. Now is a really critical time for us to bring this food in and help people."

One can donate to the CAPK Food Bank, Catholic Charities Food Pantry, or Stay Focused Ministries Food Distribution Program by visiting their websites.