BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — You can’t talk about the fair without talking about food. But this time, the fair dedicated the day to helping those in need of it.
According to Feeding America’s latest data, in 2021, the food insecurity rate in Kern County was 13%. The population of food-insecure individuals in Kern was more than 117,000.
With events like “Feed the Need” at the Kern County Fair, in partnership with CAPK, the food bank can distribute food donations to their 150 partners, who then give it to communities in need of food access.
“Organizations pass out food throughout the whole county, so if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to get food out,” said CAPK’s Savannah Maldonado. “So being able to give them what they need is vital and that’s what this event is all about getting them bulked up.”
Fairgoers may be required to only donate six cans for free entry as a part of “Feed the Need,” but according to Maldonado, the food bank can distribute thousands of pounds of food a year with donations it receives from promotions like this.
“It shows the impact of how far the food that you donate really impacts the community,” said Maldonado. “Our record last year was 28,000 pounds of food, and prior to COVID, we were in the 40,000’s. So, we took a big dip, but we’re really thinking the community is coming back into action.”
Fair organizers are also anticipating a big turnout to make a big difference for those in need in Kern.
“The last few years, we still saw the effects of COVID, with people coming out and attendance, but so far this year, people are ready to enjoy the fair, they are coming out strong,” said the Kern County Fair’s Chelsey Roberts. “So, we’re really hoping that this year, we’re going to beat last year’s numbers, we’re going to fill those food banks as much as we can, and it’s something we love, and it couldn’t be any better of a promotion.”