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State secretary of food and agriculture visits Paso Robles

From left, Melissa Danehey, nutritional programs manager with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, and Elisa Rivas, nutritional outreach coordinator with the food bank, talk to California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Friday. They had prepared simple healthy snacks and recipes based on currently available produce. They were in Paso Robles during a distribution day.

Tribune photo by David Middlecamp
From left, Melissa Danehey, nutritional programs manager with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, and Elisa Rivas, nutritional outreach coordinator with the food bank, talk to California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross on Friday. They had prepared simple healthy snacks and recipes based on currently available produce. They were in Paso Robles during a distribution day. Tribune photo by David Middlecamp

California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross was in Paso Robles on Friday as part of her tour of food banks.

Along with members from the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, Ross visited the coalition’s distribution center at Oak Park, a low-income housing complex in Paso Robles where food is given to residents there every week.

Boxes of food and bags of produce were given to 142 local families in need Friday, Food Bank Coalition spokesman Chris Aho said.

Ross was also given a tour of the coalition’s Paso Robles warehouse at 2212 Golden Hill Road.

The facility houses food donations in refrigeration and freezer units.

The visit was part of the California Grown program, which is supported by the state and federal government, and its social media effort designed to help increase donations at food banks.

Ross facilitated the local donation to the food bank Friday, which included a pallet of fruit and veggies.

“It was beautiful melons, cucumber, tomatoes, grapes. Just everything that’s grown in California,” Aho said.

The donation is being stored in a cooler and will be doled out to locals at one of the coalition’s 52 countywide distribution centers Monday, Aho said. He said he didn’t know which one.

Ross is also in town to attend this weekend’s Sunset Savor the Central Coast Main Event at the Santa Margarita Ranch, where she will be a featured speaker at this morning’s opening ceremony.

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