Among the challenges, they note (with detailed reports available online at FeedingAmerica.org) are interruptions in the logistics of getting produce out of the fields and to the tables. Especially to the homes of people struggling to make previously routine shopping trips or dealing with local shortages. Against that backdrop it was a refreshing ray of hope last week—well, the last week of June—to find an email inquiring about doing an old standby of the local tabloid press, a new business feature.
“The time was right,” the mother of four explained on the phone over noises of impact, clatter, and muffled shouts in the background. “A lot of the farms in our area had arrangements with restaurants which were suddenly unable to buy from them any longer. And there are so many people not getting what they need at the store either.”
After being in business for four months now, Bernard said they’ve managed a break-even point. For every box sold, Armor Farms has been able to donate a like amount of produce to those in need locally through New Life Church, Woods Humane Society, Five Cities Vineyard Church, House of Prayer and the Community Action Partnership of SLO. Selection and meal planning for what goes into the boxes each week is a big part of the service provided. Bernard said, “I’m a housewife. I’m a Mom; we’re eat- ing this at home. I know what they’re thinking about and what [foods] we need to go together, and in what proportions.”
Community giving had always been part of the business plan, Bernard said, but she hadn’t been expecting it to take the form of immediate crisis relief.
Working a civilian career with medical device sales, Bernard settled down nine years ago to start a family. Before that, she’d been responsible for up to 300 people under her command while running engine maintenance for iconic aircraft like the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Warthog.