Donation presented to FOOD Share of Ventura

Toine Overgaag and Westerlay's Retail Team present Monica White, FOOD Share of Ventura, with a $21,030.19 check from proceeds from their week-long sales event. From left to right are Monica White, Toine Overgaag, Nancy Gallagher, Paige Harman, Mayra Romero (Westerlay Orchids).

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) December 19th, 2018 — Westerlay Orchids orchestrated a fundraiser to help the FOOD Share, Ventura County’s Food Bank, which has been instrumental in feeding tens of thousands of people displaced by the Woolsey Fire. All of the proceeds from retail orchid sales at the Carpinteria nursery from December 10th – 15th went to the food bank. The $21,030.19 boost to FOOD Share will help it continue its critical operations when demand for food assistance has spiked in the aftermath of the worst fire in it’s modern history.

“When you witness the important role that organizations like FOOD Share of Ventura hold in the wake of a tragedy of this scale, it’s so easy to get behind their cause,” said Toine Overgaag, Owner and President of Westerlay. “It makes me and all of our staff proud to harness our product for the benefit of others. The people at the food bank know how to leverage donations to have the greatest impact for the community.”

FOOD Share has been deeply involved since the fire erupted on November 8th and consumed a vast stretch of land in both Thousand Oaks and Malibu in its earliest stages. Entire neighborhoods were scorched, and by the end of the devastation, 3 people lost their lives, over 1643 structures were lost and thousands of Ventura and Los Angeles county residents had been displaced from their homes. The food bank has had its resources stretched and has been soliciting both food and monetary donations to keep up with the increased demand for its services.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of generous businesses such as Westerlay,” explained Monica White, president and CEO of FOOD Share. “The need to feed our hungry neighbors is not over, and we’ve been in desperate needed of a new box truck to deliver food, which is what this donation will go towards. Westerlay’s generous donation is is a wonderful demonstration of providing hope and help to those affected by the Woolsey Fire.”

No stranger to philanthropy, Westerlay Orchids regularly holds fundraising drives for local nonprofit organizations and community service groups. Local schools and the Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Resource Center have been among the beneficiaries of other community-focused outreach undertaken by Westerlay.

About Westerlay Orchids:

Westerlay Orchids, based in Carpinteria, Calif., is Southern California’s largest commercial grower of Phalaenopsis and Cymbidium orchids. The company distributes over 3 million orchids each year to customers including local and national supermarket chains as well as florists and designers. Westerlay Orchids has been a pioneer in environmental and sustainability practices and regularly contributes to local schools, nonprofit organizations and community causes.

About FOOD Share, Inc.:

Nearly 40 years ago, eight citizens performed a good deed by distributing food to those who were in need underneath a Ventura bridge. The early philanthropic movement quickly formed into what is now Ventura County’s regional food bank, FOOD Share, which has grown from serving a few hundred hungry people per month to 74,500 people. Today, staff and volunteers distribute more than 11 million pounds of food, or 9 million meals annually from its distribution site; more than 200 partner agencies, which include neighborhood and church food distributions and soup kitchens; as well as hunger assistance programs. A 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, FOOD Share is a member of the Feeding America network, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. For more information about FOOD Share, Inc. visit www.foodshare.com. Find us on Facebook , Instagram, and Twitter.

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