When the Madera Fair opens Sept. 8, the Madera County Food Bank will be stage its second annual Cash for Cans event.
Guests can bring two non-perishable food items and get $2 off the cost of admission on opening night.
This food collection is one of many the food bank stages to keep food on hand to distribute to the needy.
The Madera Food Bank depends solely on donations. It receives no subsidies from the city or county; all the money that comes to the organization is from people who want to voluntarily give.
A $50 donation provides 200 meals to people in need; $100 is enough money to feed 10 families for a week; 400 brown bags of food for seniors can be donated for $500; $1,000 is enough money for 500 holiday meal boxes to families in need; and $1,500 will pay for 2,000 emergency boxes of beans and rice.
In July 2011, Ryan McWherter took on the title of executive director of the Madera Food Bank. At the time the food bank was in danger of closing down, but fortunately for the 35,000 individuals a month who depend on their services, McWherter and his team were able to turn things around for the better and save the organization.
“My staff and I have worked very hard to make the Food Bank what it is today. We are committed to feeding those less fortunate in our community,” McWherter said of the Madera Food Bank’s recipe for success.
Recently, the Madera Food Bank held its 4th Annual Food Bank Dinner at Hatfield Hall. Some 330 guests attended for a night of live auctions, a raffle, dinner, and opportunities to help the less fortunate. Menu items included steak, mashed potatoes, wine and desert.
Guests included Eric Wilson of My Job Depends on Ag and auctioneer Garret Jones, who has done many local livestock auctions for the Madera Fair. Some $38,000 in donations was raised that night.
Sponsors for the event included Walmart, Mayor Robert Poythress, CalViva, Color Box, Braga Organic Farms, Pistoresi Ambulance, Teco, Bennett & Morgan, Fagundes Brothers Dairy, Creekside Land Company, DaSilva Family Trust, VTR, Agriland, Capstone Ranch, Warnock Food Products, Alessini Farms, Pacific Metal Fab, Foster & Parker, Kevin Schwinn, 47th Place, Lee’s Concrete, Philip Oberti Ranches, and Valley Pediatrics.
Another fund-raising effort will be held March 25 when the Food Bank will coordinate its 4th Annual Second Wind 5k Run. Those interested can register online at secondwind5k.com.
The Food Bank serves individuals in the cities of Madera, Raymond, Coarsegold, Oakhurst, North Fork, Chowchilla and Fairmead. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit their website www.maderafoodbank.com.