Foreign Food Giveaway

September 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The State of California is returning Mexican macaroni and Chinese carrots that were included in a food giveaway in the Central Valley.The Community Food Bank distributed the food in Mendota about on August 25th at a giveaway attended by Fresno Congressman Jim Costa. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer joined Costa, and he noticed that some of the food came from China.

Local leaders got angry, since many of the people receiving food have lost jobs in the food industry.

"We would rather be stronger with our agriculture and be doing well with our economy than hoping to have food from other countries. But this is what we have on the table right now," said San Joaquin Mayor Ruby Dhaliwal.

Dana Wilkie with the Community Food Bank said "Our first priority is to buy local and we want to give back to the farmers that help us be successful in our community. So, it's a delicate balance. But again, the Community Food Bank, our goal is to feed people and I'll use whatever food we have available to do that."

The food bank got the emergency food from the State Department of Social Services and Costa complained to them about not supporting local farms and farm workers.

A department spokeswoman said they distributed $3-million dollars worth of food and about four percent of it came from foreign countries. She blamed a contractor for not following instructions to buy American food.

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