Donation of locally grown meat will support over 31,500 SLO County residents facing food insecurity each month
PASO ROBLES — Working with the California Mid-State Fair Livestock Auction, the San Luis Obispo Food Bank will be receiving a large donation of locally grown meat protein to support the over 31,500 SLO County residents facing food insecurity each month.
At the forefront of the effort is The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, which contributed a substantial gift of $100,000 designated to purchase 4-H and FFA livestock at the Mid-State Fair. Powered by this gift, the SLO Food Bank purchased 22 heads of steer during the live auction. The Wood-Claeyssens Foundation is a significant, longtime supporter of hunger relief efforts throughout Central California.
During the auction, livestock buyers learned about the needs in our community from event organizers and auctioneers, resulting in nine additional steers and five hogs being donated to support the SLO Food Bank’s hunger relief mission. These contributions — culminating in a remarkable donation of meat from 31 steers and five hogs — strengthen the SLO Food Bank’s ability to meet the nutritional needs of those experiencing hunger.
Additionally, Central Valley Meat/Harris Ranch Beef donated the cost of processing the steers, while Templeton/Visalia Livestock Market donated their time coordinating logistics, ensuring that each donation has the maximum impact on the community. The Simonin family also played a vital role in procuring protein for the SLO Food Bank at the Mid-State Fair. Joe Simonin, former Board Chair and current member of the SLO Food Bank Board of Directors, served as the organization’s proxy bidder and passionate advocate, and together with his family donated five hogs.
Garret Olson, CEO of the SLO Food Bank, expressed his deep appreciation, stating, “The outpouring of support from The Wood Claeyssens Foundation, Central Valley Meat/Harris Ranch Beef, the Visalia Livestock Market as well as the Simonin family and the individuals and businesses who contributed, is nothing short of extraordinary. This inspiring display of local kindness underscores the strength of our community in addressing the urgent issue of hunger in SLO County. We are proud to be the caring conduits of high quality, locally grown food coming to the aid of our local neighbors.”
The SLO Food Bank extends gratitude to all individuals, businesses, and foundations that played a role in making their initiative a success.
Feature Image: (From left) San Luis Obispo Food Band Board member Joe Simonin, Beth Simonin Baxley with Visalia Livestock Market, Mike Smith with Harris Ranch, Randy Baxley with Visalia Livestock Market, and CEO SLO Food Bank Garret Olson had a hand in the donations to the SLO Food Bank. Contributed Photo