FOOD Share of Ventura County President and CEO, Bonnie Atmore, has been selected by Dole Packaged Foods to represent the regional food bank and national hunger relief network, Feeding America, in the 128th Tournament of Roses Parade as part of Dole’s float, “Spirit of Hawaii.”
Taking place on Monday January 2, 2017, this year’s Rose Parade theme is “Echoes of Success;” a tribute to the selfless contributions of individuals, cooperatives, and institutions that work to elevate communities and contribute to the advancement of others.
FOOD Share’s commitment to solving hunger and Atmore’s leadership at the regional and national levels made her the ideal candidate when Dole began the search for an individual who embodies the charitable values of its organization and the essence of the Rose Parade theme. Under Atmore’s guidance, FOOD Share has not only grown to serve 10 million meals annually across Ventura County, but has also developed a number of initiatives designed to “shorten the line” and stabilize vulnerable families as the first step toward building self-sufficiency.
“Dole and FOOD Share have developed a unique partnership to alleviate hunger in Ventura County,” said Dave Spare, Vice President of Marketing, Dole Packaged Foods. “As a provider of healthy, convenient packaged fruits and healthy snacks that are affordable and accessible to all, we share FOOD Share’s commitment to making nourishing food and effective nutrition education available to everyone. We are proud to have Bonnie and the FOOD Share organization represented on our Rose Parade float as we further our commitment to helping people live long and healthy lives.”
Last year, FOOD Share depleted its reserves in order to keep its commitment to feeding the 1 in 6 Ventura County residents who is still food insecure. To restock its warehouse shelves and rebuild its capital resources, the regional food bank urgently needs the support of the community to raise $5 million and collect 200,000 pounds of food by the end of the holiday season. Doing so will allow FOOD Share to serve the 13 million meals that will be needed across Ventura County in the upcoming year.
“As we move into this most critical time of year, we are so grateful for the dedicated partnership of Dole Packaged Foods and the incredible platform they have afforded us through the Tournament of Roses Parade,” said Bonnie Atmore, FOOD Share President & CEO. “Our team will be working diligently to leverage this opportunity to ensure that we have the cash reserves and other resources we need to meet our operating and service goals this year. Together, we are working to solve hunger!”