FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Valley Children’s Hospital is partnering with the Central California Foodbank to tackle childhood hunger.

“The goal is no kid should be hungry in our community,” said Lynne Ashbeck, Chief Community Impact Officer with Valley Children’s Healthcare.

On Wednesday, Valley Children’s Hospital announced a $150 thousand commitment for a three-year partnership with the food bank.

“One in four adults and one in three kids are food insecure right here in the valley,” said Natalie Caples, co-CEO at the Central California Foodbank.

The initiative includes three separate programs. One of them is a food pantry with the Washington Unified School District at West Fresno Elementary.

“And that’ll give us a chance to make sure kids in their neighborhood get access to foods for themselves and their families. So, it’s really getting food to where kids learn,” said Ashbeck.

The second program is a home care team. The foodbank will be delivering food boxes to families with kids receiving medical care.

“We’re going to identify a group of families who are caring for medically-complex kids at home, and those families have so much to juggle, getting enough to eat shouldn’t be one of them,” said Ashbeck.

The third program is a partnership with the Fresno Mission at its City Center, a shelter and emergency services hub set to open in late 2022.

“We’re going to be launching First Fruits Market, which is a fully operational 3,000-square foot grocery store,” said Caples.

“It is not acceptable to be in the rich San Joaquin Valley, the agriculture center of our country, and us just go about our business and just think it’s ok if every kid doesn’t get something to eat every day,” said Ashbeck.