The Alameda County Community Food Bank has received a truckload of 5,780 cases--or nearly 70,000 cans--of diced tomatoes from SK Foods as part of one of the largest donations to food banks in California history.
The Food Bank serves 40,000 low-income Alameda County residents each week.
"We are very grateful to receive such a versatile, shelf-stable product," said Suzan Bateson, the Food Bank's executive director. "Diced, cooked tomatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, and are perfect with pasta. A donation of this size can provide for more than 100,000 servings."
Statewide, SK Foods is donating close to one million 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes to help replenish supplies at California food banks, diminishing due to the rising costs of food and fuel. The retail value of the donation is well over $1 million.
The donation constitutes one of the five largest food bank donations in the state's history, according to Bill Foltz, food solicitor for Second Harvest Food Bank, who is helping to coordinate distribution of the diced tomatoes. "It's a great product and has such versatility to it. This outstanding donation comes at a time when our food banks are scrambling desperately for donations."
Deliveries to food banks began June 5, with a truck dropping off approximately 35,000 cans of tomatoes to the San Francisco Food Bank. The Food Bank for Monterey County, where SK Foods is based, received its first truckload of canned tomatoes June 9, and FoodLink for Tulare County received a delivery of 2,900 cases on June 12. Additional deliveries are planned this month at food banks in Fresno, Redwood Empire (in Santa Rosa), San Joaquin (in Manteca) and Watsonville. SK Foods is providing all transportation and covering freight costs, a tremendous added value to the food banks.
"The world food shortages are right here in our backyard," said SK Foods Chief Executive Officer Scott Salyer. "We hope other food companies will follow our lead and help the food banks."
SK Foods, based in Monterey, is a leading processor of tomato and vegetable products for re-manufacturers, retail and foodservice marketers.