With its last glean of the Salinas Valley deal already in the cooler, Ag Against Hunger is moving ahead under a new executive director, Lindsay Coate.
She brings a track record of raising money — and fresh produce — for the nonprofit.
Coate was the moving force behind such events as the produce mascot race at the California Rodeo Salinas.
My videos of the Fight Hunger Night races, archived on The Packer website, were good for some laughs. But this year’s event generated $12,875 for the nonprofit, no joke.
Coate, who was Ag Against Hunger marketing director for three years, succeeds Karen DeWitt who remains active in food bank issues. Christie Laremore, gleaning coordinator, has taken on a second role as community relations manager.
With a staff of just two, Ag Against Hunger nevertheless plans to do more in 2013. Grower-shippers here will have to back those aspirations with more donations of fresh produce.
But they’ve done so before.
“I definitely would like to expand our fleet of trucks,” Coate said.
“Because I plan on bringing more surplus produce into our program and additional California food banks.”
Ag Against Hunger distributes primarily in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Beyond that is some California-wide distribution, but it’s been pretty sparing.
“I’d like to bring in more counties,” she said.
“Growers here will definitely support that. Our surplus depends on changes in demand, but there’s always more to give.”
The year’s final glean was Oct. 13 at a Tanimura & Antle Artisan lettuce field. More than 100 volunteers were given the run of a one-acre site.
The nonprofit finished 2012 with 150,000 pounds in donations. That’s about 750,000 servings, if you’re counting by the bite.
Some of the other growers who contributed include Ocean Mist Farms, Costa Farms, Boggiatto Produce, Germains Seed Technology, Faurot Ranch and Filice Farms.
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