Gary Maxworthy

Daily Point of Light # 3935 Mar 4, 2009

This is Gary Maxworthy's story of service:

"After my wife passed away I wanted to give back and volunteered for VISTA, the domestic Peace Corps. Because of my life experience in the food industry they got me involved in Food Banking. After my one year with Vista, I continued to work with food banks in California which I have been doing now for 14 years.

In 1999 I came up with the idea of accessing fresh produce and distributing it to people in need. Up to that time food banks had focused on cans and boxes to distribute. The first year we distributed 750,000 pounds of primarily stone fruit (peaches, plums, etc.) to 11 food banks. In 2005 we began distributing throughout California to 45 food banks under the umbrella of The California Association of Food Banks. We call the program “Farm to Family”

In 2007 we distributed 38 million pounds of fresh produce throughout the State and this year we are on track to distribute 60 million pounds. This is over 2,000 truckloads of 38 different crops from oranges, potatoes, carrots, stone fruit, onions, cabbage, corn, etc. We estimate we are getting fresh produce into the hands of around 1 million California seniors, children and others in need each month. All distribution is through a network of many thousands of pantries served by California's food banks."