BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted — that’s 120 billion pounds of food thrown away every year. One organization in Kern County is dedicated to changing this.
“We really rescue and recover all the foods from different grocery stores, mainly Vallarta, within our Kern County area, that’s hit its ‘sell by date,’ but it’s still good,” said Shari Rightmer, Executive Director of Laborers of the Harvest.
“It’s a $30 dollar membership, people can come twice a week, they get three bags empty, then they can go shopping for anything that they want,” Rightmer said. “We are no questions asked. You do not have to qualify for anything. All you do is just show up.”
You can become a member of any location even if you don’t live in that city. The monthly membership gets you up to 30 bags of food a month. With the big question being, will there be enough food?
“There is plenty of food for everyone. We recover up to 60,000 pounds of food every month. So every day we are getting about 6,000 pounds of food.” said Blanky Centeno, Chief of Operations of Laborers of the Harvest.
Open Harvest currently receives food from 15 grocery stores around Kern County. Including from Costco, Sprouts, and Vallarta. With the second phase of SB-1383 nearing in January 2024, time is ticking for the grocery stores that don’t donate food already.
“There are 95 stores in Kern County so, if we have the funds we can get a lot more here,” said Centeno.