The Port of Hueneme’s Board of Harbor Commissioners celebrated the launch of its FOOD SHARE & Mobile Pantry with over 150 in attendance. Affiliated with the Ventura County Food Bank, the FOOD SHARE event took place in Oxnard, California and is part of an innovative federal tax credit program.

“The Port of Hueneme is proud to be part of this extraordinary achievement that will better address the dietary needs of our community in a nutritious and healthy manner,” said Port President Jess Herrera. “All of us offer special congratulations to Bonnie Weigel and her colleagues at FOOD SHARE for their efforts in launching the program.”

Joining The Port in its support of FOOD SHARE is a variety of Port customers and community collaborators. “I want to thank all of our project partners and Port customers for their generous contributions to the FOOD SHARE Program,” said Kristin Decas, CEO of The Port of Hueneme. “Their efforts and donations will help make our community a better and healthier place to live.”

In donating fresh food to the program, many Port customers will be following a tradition of contributions to Ventura County. Del Monte and Chiquita, for instance, have been very active in supporting Ventura County FOOD SHARE, donating up to 1.2 million pounds of bananas annually. For the Port of Hueneme program, Del Monte will average a truckload per week, carrying 10 pallets of bananas, pineapples, and melons.

“Of course, an effort of this magnitude requires substantial planning,” said Andrew Palomares, Chief Finance and Administrative Officer at Oxnard Harbor District. “We were fortunate in putting together a solid financing strategy in conjunction with several key partners.”

The Port Commission sees the FOOD SHARE Program as a major step in its long-standing humanitarian policies. “With so much positive support for the project, FOOD SHARE promises to be a resounding success with far-reaching impact for the community,” said Ms. Decas The FOOD SHARE Mobile Pantry Program is the final phase of a multi-layered project designed to reduce air emissions at The Port and the surrounding community, as well as improve the Port’s operational logistics through paving and lighting upgrades.

The Port of Hueneme’s Board of Harbor Commissioners will literally see the fruits of their labor in establishing the separate Ports Renovation Inc. and its initial 5 Member Board of Directors come to fruition. The Board unanimously approved the District’s involvement to take part in a multi layered complex project in 2013 that delivered (1) The installation of electric power at the Port’s docks to allow vessels to plug in and not run diesel auxiliary engines and significantly reduce emissions; (2) Lighting efficiency and landside improvements at the Port’s rail head at Arcturus Station; and (3) The introduction of the FOOD SHARE Mobile Pantry Program for Ventura’s Food Bank. The combined elements of this program made it an attractive project to qualify for highly-competitive new markets tax credits. Clearinghouse CDFI and Wells Fargo provided the critical financing.