published on February 4, 2016 - 4:24 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

The California Agricultural Leadership Program will present Fresno’s Poverello House with a $100,000 donation during the commencement ceremony for its 45th class on Saturday. 

Individuals and organizations throughout the state donated money to the leadership class to help fund their project idea for the Poverello House. The funds are intended for the purchase of a food truck that will provide free hot meals and fresh produce to rural communities throughout the San Joaquin Valley. 

“The project has been so successful because of the help we received from the agricultural community across the state—it’s a real testament to the generosity of people in agriculture and their willingness to help those who are in need,” said Justin Morehead, member of Class 45.

The funds remaining after the food truck is purchased and fully furnished will be used to operate the project until it becomes self-sustaining. 

“Our biggest concern is that not enough rural areas are getting nutritious meals cooked, prepped and served,” said Cruz Avila, executive director at the Poverello House. “This is how the concept of the truck came about. We want to reach the ag community and we know we can help them on a bigger level by providing hot nutritious meals.”

The commencement ceremony and presentation will be held at Fresno State, with President Joseph Castro delivering the welcome before Dr. Stephen Randolph’s keynote address. 

The California Agricultural Leadership Program is an advanced leadership development experience  for mid-career agricultural leaders. The commencement will honor the 24 fellows of Class 45 who have spent the past 17 months studying leadership theory, effective communication, motivation, emotional intelligence, cultural issues and critical and strategic thinking. 

“We are very proud of Class 45 and congratulate them on their achievements as servant leaders,” said Bob Gray, president and CEO of California Agricultural Leadership Foundation, which hosts the program. “These individuals have already proven their ability to make a difference by assuming leadership roles and helping communities in need.”

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