Central California Food Bank unveils new produce pack line

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A first-of-its-kind packing line at the Central California Food Bank will now significantly reduce the amount of time and volunteers needed to sort through these giant boxes of goods.

An accomplishment Natalie Caples says will also help provide the best quality of food.

"This is actually going to be something that is tangible that helps us do that, providing higher quality produce to member partner feeding sites already prepackaged," she said.

This machine was once an apricot line -- decommissioned and donated by the Ricchiuti Family and PR Farms in 2019.

"We are happy to do it, we are thrilled to see it came to fruition and that they are able to utilize it," says Pat Ricchiuti

It became what it is now thanks to advice from Fowler packing and the hard work of Fresno State Mechanical Engineering students who took on the project.

"Students gaining experience working on the line, helping us achieve our results and help our mission is fantastic," Caples said.

While this long-awaited goal is checked off the list -- Caples says they have many projects ahead helping meet their demand.

Just last year, 54 million pounds of food were distributed.

"We are going to be building and assembling a bulk line that helps us provide additional bulk produce to other California food banks who don't have the same level of access as we do," she said.

Which means more food for families in need.
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