Port of Hueneme and FOOD Share Inc.Making a Difference

Port Reports deal modernizing key Port facilities also Facilitated thousands of Healthy meals in Ventura County.

Taking advantage of a federal New Markets Tax Credits Program (NMTC) the Port of Hueneme at the end of 2013 completed an application that promised to help the Port better finance mandated infrastructure improvements as well as provide funding for a new non-profit corporation ‘Port Renovations Inc.’ that would collaborate with Ventura County-based FOOD Share, Inc. to bring fresh and nutritious food to federally-designated “food deserts” in the region.

With funds generated by the NMTC program the Port in conjunction with FOOD Share, Inc. purchased and outfitted a large truck and trailer creating a mobile vehicle allowing FOOD Share to carry out its mission to engage the county’s ‘Food Deserts’. 

The Port’s Chief Financial Officer Andrew Palomares was pleased to recently report to the Board of Harbor Commissioners that data provided for FY 2015-16 indicated that the program supported and/or retained 314 jobs for employees earning a living wage in Ventura County.  The report also indicated that an additional 154 union jobs were also positively impacted.  

President of the Board of Harbor Commissioners Jason Hodge remarked, “The Port’s use of the new markets tax credits program attracts private equity investment to important Port projects. It validates the Board’s continuing efforts to bring value and economic vitality to our customers and our region. This program brings nearly three million dollars of added funding underscoring our significant role within our community and California’s economy.”
    
The Port’s partnership with Port Renovation, Inc., a California Public Benefit Corporation oversee targeted Port projects including the funding of the Mobile Pantry Program through the well-established FOOD Share, Inc. “We value our collaboration with the Port that makes this program possible. Over the last few years our Mobile Pantry has brought an impactful and meaningful hunger alleviation program that had been on our wish list for so long!” said Bonnie Atmore, CEO & President of FOOD Share Inc.

“With so much of the Port of Hueneme’s imports and exports in the form of food – fresh produce in particular through Port customers Chiquita and Del Monte – supporting FOOD Share through the Port’s nonprofit partner is a natural fit,” said Port Director & CEO Kristin Decas. “This partnership with FOOD Share and our customers touches the lives of many throughout Ventura County and we are pleased we can help make a difference.”

In fiscal year 2015-16 the Mobile Pantry program served 10,239 unduplicated individuals and distributed 56,824 pounds of food. This can be converted to about 47,354 meals served to communities in food deserts.
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