HM.CLAUSE donated 4,130 pounds of fresh produce to the Yolo Food Bank on September 30, 2014, thanks to the generous contributions of numerous employees. The Community Donation Committee, which was formed in March 2014 under the sponsorship of Lincoln Moehle (then HM.CLAUSE Davis Station Manager), organized the donation. Various breeding programs and the operations group at the Research Station donated the fields of bell peppers, hot peppers, melons, summer squash, tomatoes, and tomatillos which were harvested. Through donations from their managers, over 30 full-time and seasonal HM.CLAUSE employees helped with the harvest during the day, in addition to 8 contract workers. Moreover, several volunteers from the Production, Administration, and Breeding teams came out after-hours to make the harvest a success.
Many people who helped were enthusiastic about the donation. “We are happy to donate and help people,” said Juan Marroquin, Research Associate for the Melon Breeding Program. “We look forward to doing it again next year,” Juan added. Brenda Lanini, Watermelon Breeder, said, “It’s good for the people who got the donation, and it’s good for us too. I think it’s good for people here to see that everything wasn’t disked into the ground. It wasn’t a waste.” Brenda’s sentiment was shared by many, who were glad that the company found a way to give a portion of the produce grown at the Research Station to help feed people in need. Because the seed grown here is one of the chief assets of the company, the harvest needed to be coordinated in close cooperation with the breeding teams, who identified which fields could be harvested without risking valuable germplasm.
The Yolo Food Bank provides nearly 3 million pounds of food each year to 35,000 Yolo County residents in need. The produce donated by HM.CLAUSE was used for the Food Bank’s school program Kid’s Farmer’s Market. More information can be found on their website at www.yolofoodbank.org.
John Chiles, Emily Johnson, and Sean Keyworth currently sit on the HM.CLAUSE Community Donations Committee, which is now sponsored by Keith Walker, Station Manager. The donations to Yolo Food Bank represent the first in-kind donation that the new committee has overseen. In addition to the recent food bank donation, the committee has also coordinated monetary donations to the Yolo County Farm Bureau for their Education Fund, and to the Dixon Montessori Charter School for their school garden.