Mar 24, 2020
Berry donations to schools puts Bobalu Berries in position to help

Like many family businesses, Oxnard, California-based Bobalu Berries is navigating through the global issue occurring, but as a farming company, is also navigating through normal spring weather patterns as demand increases for its fresh strawberries.

The first day of spring arrived last week without much fanfare, even though it tends to be an annual milestone that brings signs of peak strawberry season just around the corner. Typically, this time period brings longer days, warmer nights and spring holidays enjoyed outdoors with friends and family.

This spring, Bobalu Berries still has strong demand from customers experiencing increased shopping due to the current global crisis and they are seeing increased volume with the arrival of spring. However, owners of the company are focused on caring for employees in the field that continue to work every day making sure berries are a fresh option on grocery shelves.

“We are so impressed with our team in the field and how they are embracing the responsibility of serving as essential employees,” said Bobby Jones, partner in Bobalu Berries. “As we make constant change in the fields responding to spring weather along with this global challenge, we are inspired by the support we receive every day.”

Inspired by their staff’s commitment, Bobalu partners Bobby Jones and RC Jones reached out this week to local school districts offering donations of fresh strawberries to school kids and their families picking up lunches in the community. “We know there are still families that rely on school lunch every day to get them through difficult times. We are trying to make a difference providing fresh berries for each family to enjoy every week as we work through this crisis together,” Jones said.

With assistance from the United Fresh Produce Association, the Jones family reached out to the Oxnard School Districts. Quickly, they were able to put a plan in place arranging donations of fresh strawberries to 4,000 elementary school families picking up weekly food packages and thousands of pounds of berries to Oxnard High School District students continuing to eat lunches provided every day.

Since schools are impacted with limited personnel despite additional resources needed, Bobalu Berries is providing direct delivery to the schools and will pick up the empty corrugated containers to ensure staff doesn’t incur additional logistic challenges during this critical time. Each of the two districts expressed great interest in receiving more fresh produce items to share with kids and families.

While some of the larger companies can make a bigger impact, Bobalu Berries is encouraging smaller family farming companies like theirs throughout California and the U.S. to do the best they can to step into action and make a difference. The company is happy to provide details on how they connected to make a difference in their community.

“This is a time when we can all pull together as an industry and support our neighbors,” Jones said.

For details on how they made it happen and for those that want to get involved in this movement, contact Bobby Jones or Cindy Jewell, [email protected].


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