Feeding the Frontline Event in Port Hueneme Makes History Hosting its 20th Food Drive During COVID-19

The Port’s Sandra Cruz and Jessika Viveros; Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Celina Zacarias; Port Hueneme Mayor Laura Hernandez; the Port’s Drew Rodriguez and Miguel Rodriguez.

The Port of Hueneme and local community partners Clinicas Del Camino Real, Lujan Transport Inc., Port customer Del Monte and more, as part of the Feeding the Frontline, Feeding our Farmworkers effort, have hosted 20 food distributions across the County of Ventura. The Port has played an important role in coordinating these events and bringing together different partners to help address the current food scarcity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest event was held on Saturday, June 27 at the Orvene S. Carpenter Community Center in Port Hueneme and had the full support of the City of Port Hueneme.

“Our work does not stop at the docks,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Ramirez. “It actually continues to impact the community as soon as our customers receive the goods that they are also contributing, to maintain our community food distributions to particularly those directly affected by the pandemic.”

“Since this pandemic emergency began, the City of Port Hueneme has focused our efforts to best support of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Port Hueneme City Manager Brad “Brick” Conners. “As host of this 20th food scarcity solutions initiative, we couldn’t be more proud of this grand opportunity to literally serve them even more and partner with our good friends at the Port of Hueneme.”

Volunteers set up for the Feeding the Frontlines event in Port Hueneme on Saturday, June 27.

The Port of Hueneme recognizes its place as an economic driver and especially as a safety net for our community during these turbulent times. Throughout this endeavor, over 10,000 families have been provided with bananas, strawberries, produce, and hand sanitizer as well as bilingual COVID-19 information to help relieve some of the economic stress that the pandemic has imposed on working families.

The Port is substituting its Banana Festival (usually held in September) for increased COVID-19 relief activities this year, as directed by the Oxnard Harbor District Commissioners, who felt the need to provide a different type of community support during these times.

Miguel Rodriguez, the Port’s Community Outreach Manager (and lead Feeding the Frontline event organizer) said that “it’s very gratifying to be able to do this very important work at a time when resources are scarce. Efforts like these are a testament that no one will go hungry in our community as long as we continue to have truly committed leadership at all levels. Twenty events are a result of social capital built on intentional collaboration with a vision to provide where we can have most impact.”