The Stanislaus County Fair won't just be featuring the area's agricultural bounty, the event will also serve as a collection site for much-needed food items for the hungry.
The United Samaritans Foundation and the Stanislaus County Fair are pairing up once again for their annual canned food drive. Adult fair attendees who bring in two cans of food will receive two dollars off their admission ticket.
Kathy Hobby, who heads the annual United Samaritans food drive, said this project is truly beneficial to everyone involved.
“It’s a great way to bring out the community,” said Hobby. “It truly is a win-win for everyone.”
The United Samaritans Foundation, which has been distributing food in Turlock since 1994, began the canned food drive in 1999. Since the event's inception, the organization has managed to collect over 10 tons of food for those who need it.
Last year alone, the drive collected over 1,900 pounds of food. Hobby hopes that this year will generate an even greater turnout.
“Everybody loves the fair,” said Hobby. “So we’re urging people to grab a couple of cans, come out and become more aware.”
Along with the canned food drive, the United Samaritans Foundation hosts daily food trucks that operate in several cities across Stanislaus County. Currently, the foundation operates nine different trucks that feed thousands of people on a daily basis. According to Hobby, the Foundation feeds an estimated 1,500-1,800 people a day.
On the last Tuesday and last Friday of every month the Foundation gives away the equivalent of three meals for three days for every member of the family.
Along with collecting cans, the drive also helps bring people out to the fair and participate in such a historic event for the city of Turlock.
“The fair is such a tradition in Turlock,” said Hobby. “So, to be able to help those who are less fortunate and be a part of such a historic event at the same time is absolutely wonderful.”
Along with a discounted admission at the fair, those donating cans can also look forward to some perks from local businesses. Freebirds World Burritos, a burrito chain in Turlock, will also be offering a $2 discount for those who bring in two cans.
“Freebirds works to help out the community in any way we can,” said Mike Garza, manager of the Turlock Freebirds.
Those interested in participating in the food drive should bring two cans of nonperishable food to the opening night of the Stanislaus County Fair, July 12.
For more questions regarding the canned food drive, contact the United Samaritans Foundation at 668-4853.