Philanthropy has always been at the forefront of Gemperle Farms’ mission, and this week the business surpassed the eight million mark for eggs donated to charity since the year 2000.
Each week, thousands of Gemperle eggs make their way to lunch programs, local nonprofits, food banks and food pantries, with the Turlock egg producer generously donating between 350,000 and 500,000 eggs each year. More than three quarters of those eggs go to the United Samaritans Foundation and its affiliates, Hilmar Helping Hands, Turlock Together and the Salvation Army.
The organization uses around 450 dozen donated eggs each week, Executive Director Bev Hatcher said, which are used to make egg salad sandwiches.
“We have many stories to tell that are heartwarming about our egg sandwiches,” she said. “Everyone remembers them.”
Ernie Gemperle, who started Gemperle Farms in 1951, helped found USF in 1994 with the mission to deliver food to people in need throughout Stanislaus County. Today, the nonprofit’s Daily Bread Ministry lunch trucks serve just under 400,000 meals every year, and their emergency food boxes provide over 33,000 meals annually.
Hatcher believes these numbers would not be achieved without donations from Gemperle Farms, which has been the organization’s largest food donor for the past two decades.
"Many of our families and individuals live in areas considered food deserts where there are no full-service supermarkets within a mile of their homes. With the help of Gemperle Farms we have made a difference in our community. Everyone who comes to receive food from us is always appreciative," Hatcher said.
To celebrate Easter, USF volunteers will dye 1,800 eggs donated by Gemperle Farms to be given out by the food trucks on Good Friday.
In addition to their egg donations, Gemperle Farms also gives back to other causes throughout the community, like Stanislaus State, the Carnegie Arts Center, the Turlock Community Theater, the Boy Scouts of America and local sporting complexes.
"The Central Valley is our home and our community. It is important for us to practice sustainable stewardship of the land and to give back to the community," Mike Gemperle said.