Del Monte rises up to feed the community

Volunteers of the Southwinds Neighborhood Council partner with Food Share and The Port to distribute food to those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
Art Bouvet leads the Del Monte team in delivering fresh produce to the City of Oxnard to help families in need from the COVID-19 crisis.

Del Monte Fresh Produce (Del Monte), a top fresh fruit and produce customer at the Port of Hueneme, delivered a full truck load of fresh fruit to the City of Oxnard, helping those in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Port couldn’t be more proud to see our customers stepping up to meet the needs of the community in these difficult times,” said Oxnard Harbor District Board President Jess Ramirez. “Del Monte has always invested their resources and energy to help the community, they are committed to our local families and have been since 1979.”
Last week, Del Monte named Art Bouvet to serve as the Community Support Leader, a new position which will serve to coordinate support for the local community. The position comes to fruition during the COVID-19 crisis, however it has been in the works for a long time, given their continual partnership with various non-profits and food banks in the community year round.
“Del Monte Fresh Produce will continue to serve our community and be a partner for our food banks now and the future,” said Del Monte Fresh Produce Community Support Leader and Warehouse Manager Art Bouvet.
Over the past year, Del Monte’s operation at the Port of Hueneme has donated 1,077,474 pounds of fresh produce (32,469 boxes) to Ventura County’s Food Share. This represents Del Monte’s highest donation to a single entity in the entire United States! Food Share has been a great partner with Del Monte Fresh Produce as they work to meet the needs of Ventura County’s residents, and place any excess donations into the State of California’s Food Bank Network. This partnership helps Del Monte meet their goal of not wasting a single case of produce.
“Del Monte Fresh Produce takes great pride in its 25 year partnership with Food Share supporting their mission of leading the fight against hunger in Ventura County. In these extraordinary times it is even more important that Fresh Del Monte is doing its part, providing fresh produce to Food Share and the California Food Bank Network they have connected us with,” stated Del Monte Port Manager Chuck Caulkins. “Additionally, we are thankful to the Port of Hueneme for their continued support and providing us with other contacts for community based fresh produce donations.”
The Port is assisting Del Monte with expanding their donations to include collaborations with the United Farmworker’s Union Foundation, Restore Ventura, Spirit of Santa Paula Homeless Outreach Project, Fillmore Kingdom Center, Oxnard Southwinds Neighborhood Council, and the Oxnard Housing Authority.
Del Monte’s generosity goes above and beyond supplying fresh produce, they also recently secured a shipping container to help the Southwinds Neighborhood Council store non-perishable items in-between distributions. The Port also lent a helping hand with donating over 300 reusable shopping bags to assist with delivering the food to it’s neighbors in need.
“Times of crisis show the real character of us all,” said Kristin Decas CEO & Port Director. “Del Monte continues to rise to the occasion and help our community in times of need. They have been a part of the Port family for the past 41 years and are embedded in the fabric of our local community.”