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New refrigeration unit helps cool down the issue of food insecurity

The First Assembly God of Church recently received a donation for a new refrigeration unit to help keep perishable items like fruits and vegetables cooler longer
Posted at 9:18 AM, Mar 26, 2024

DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — A new donated refrigeration unit has come to a delano church to help with the issue of food insecurity. Access to healthy food also helps tackle the obesity issue in the county.

  • Updates come to the First Assembly of God Church new refrigeration unit, a donation given by California Dairies
  • The ribbon cutting, coordinated by Assemblywoman Jasmeet Bains
  • This new unit will help better tackle food insecurity and also assist with the obesity epidemic.

Fresh oranges are what families in Delano can expect, and more, from the First Assembly God of Church food distribution center — and this new refrigeration unit is doing more than just keeping fruit cold.

On Friday, community leaders cut the ribbon for the brand-new refrigeration unit given to the First Assembly of God Church in Delano.

Helping to store fresh fruits and vegetables, coordinator for the event Assemblywoman Jasmeet Bains says this new addition brings more than just cooler air for perishable items.

"You have a lot of families that rely on either fast food or something quick because families are struggling to afford just food,” said Assemblywoman Bains.

According to Feeding Kern, in 2020, 14.3% of adults in Kern County were food insecure, compared to 10.5% nationwide. But at the same time, the county has a staggering 78% of Kern County adults who are overweight or obese.

Contributed to the lack of healthy food options — this new fridge can help to bridge that gap.

The idea was created by Claribel Gutierrez, a community member who has been coordinating the church's food drive, and says while she's pleased with the progress they've made since the start of the drive, there is still stress when it comes to storing perishable items.

"This refrigerator is going to ensure that the food that we get is properly refrigerated and be able to give it to the residents as soon as we get it, we don't have to rush it to give it out,” said Gutierrez. “So, we make sure that we have stuff In stock so when those emergencies come through us were able to bridge the gap."

Following Friday's ribbon cutting — a food distribution event was organized, giving away some of the foods that will be in the fridge like fresh oranges.

With a non-stop line of families waiting for donations — Gutierrez says she'll see up to hundreds of cars lined up with people who have all kinds of struggles. This new donation will provide hope for the community of Delano.

"From the people that have a job and they just have enough money to pay the bills, for the ones that are in the community as a homeless and so, in reality, we all need a little help,” said Gutierrez.

The First Assembly God of Church hosts their food drive every second Tuesday of the month.

There is a distribution event every week spread throughout the city to ensure that food insecurity is only a weekly issue at most.

Here is a full list:

Second Tuesday of the month hosted at the First Assembly of God

Second Monday of the month hosted at Our Lady Guadalupe Church

Third Thursday of the month hosted at Saint Mary’s Church

Fourth Thursday of the month hosted at Memorial Park

Lifehouse church also provides food distribution events.

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