This project aims to increase the availability, variety and shelf life of food for communities in need around the areas of Tijuana, Tecate, Rosarito, Ensenada and San Quintin in Northern Baja California (Mexico).
These communities are supported by a non-profit food bank, Banco de Alimentos de Tijuana A.C. (BANATI). BANATI currently sources much of the fruits and vegetables it provides from farms in the San Quintin Valley, which is over a four hour drive away.
Much of the food BANATI receives from these farms is nearly spoiled and/or unsellable, which is how they come to receive it as a donation. Without the ability to process or can the food prior to sending it to the food bank, much of it goes to waste. Recognizing this, the State government has provided land to BANATI for them to build a facility for food processing, the construction of which is already underway and is being paid for by the operating budget of BANATI.
Therefore, with the land and construction of the facility having been provided for, the main objective of this grant is to equip the facility with food processing equipment to increase the shelf life of products by using preserving/canning processes with fruits and vegetables rescued directly from the fields of San Quintin Valley, so that they might be delivered to the communities in need through Banati's food programs.
In addition to serving disadvantaged communities directly, BANATI distributes much of the food to the various communities indirectly, using care-oriented institutions such as orphanages, rehabilitation centers, women's shelters, soup kitchens, retirement homes, and migrant workers' houses. They reach 142 communities through 155 institutions providing food for up to 49,625 people per week.