The California Farmworker Foundation and 14 other groups received funds from The Wonderful Co. to alleviate losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. ( Courtesy The Wonderful Co. )

The Wonderful Co., Los Angeles, has chosen 15 organizations and schools in California’s Central Valley as the recipients of its COVID-19 pandemic relief fund.

The company established the $1 million fund in August to support programs, services and resources that face budget cuts during the pandemic or in response to a new critical need.

The recipients of the largest grants from The Wonderful Co. are the California Farmworker Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County and California State University-Bakersfield, according to a news release.

Andy Anzaldo, chief operating officer of philanthropy at the company, said the 15 organizations desperately needed funds.

“These non-profits have demonstrated that through their tireless efforts in the face of this devasting pandemic, they have had a profound impact on the Central Valley’s wellbeing,” Anzaldo said in the release. “It’s an honor to recognize and further their contributions to the communities where our Wonderful families live and work.”

Since its launch in 2016, the Wonderful Co. Community Grants program has contributed more than $2 million to 90 grants.

“We are very thankful to The Wonderful Co. for believing in our mission and funding our COVID-19 initiatives for farmworkers in California,” Hernan Hernandez, executive director at the California Farmworker Foundation. “Many farmworkers find themselves in dire need of emergency assistance for rent, and this grant will help them, and their families, meet their housing needs.”

Diane Carbray, president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County, said  the funds couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We rely heavily on this support for our clubs to continue to offer services and provide children with internet access in safe, quiet places while their families work,” Carbray said in the release.

The grant for California State University-Bakersfield will help students from Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties, according to Nyakundi Michieka, associate professor of economics and co-director of the Center for Economic Education and Research.

“By providing employment opportunities to these young people, many of whom are first-generation students, we can continue to change lives in the Central Valley,” Michieka said.

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