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Request for vehicles that would rescue food from restaurants and give to those in need sent to Board

Posted: 3:03 PM, Apr 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-10 22:58:57Z

The Board of Supervisors heard a request from the Kern County Health Department to pay for refrigerated vehicles for the "Waste Hunger, Not Food" program on Tuesday.

The Board would need to approve funds for three refrigerated vehicles for $191,963 through an agreement with Cal Recycle.

An additional $30,000 obtained through Kaiser Foundation Hospitals would pay the drivers of those vehicles. 

The Kern County Public Health Services Department will "rescue" food and supplies from restaurants, grocery stores and markets that would otherwise be thrown out and give it to people in need.

To make this work the health department said it needs local restaurants and schools to participate. La Costa, Frugattis, Food Land Market and the Bakersfield City School District were first to step up and help.

"It takes the involvement of the community to help the community," La Costa Owner Maria Coward said.

The request sent to the Board of Supervisors said that "Bakersfield ranks number one in the nation with the most people in a metropolitan area who cannot afford to buy the food they need."

It also said that around 116,000 people in Kern County don't know where their next meal will be coming from and that one in four children go to bed hungry every night in Kern County.

Amy Rutledge, an environmental health specialist said that it's "really discouraging and sad when you think about the state of our economy here in Kern County. We are a really large food producer, in terms of in the nation."

Businesses wanting to get involved in the program can visit the Waste Hunger, Not Food site  and become a food donor.