San Jose Caravan brings donations to farm workers

Darlene Tenes, An event planner from San Jose, San Jose, who also runs the Latino lifestyle brand CasaQ, has turned her attention to organizing a very different type of event: a caravan that supplies the people in the fields of Monterey with the supplies they need District brings food and face masks.

After hearing of a similar effort recently organized by the Central Coast Assemblyman Robert RivasTenes thought it was something she could recreate in San Jose. She reached out to the folks on her neighborhood email list and got a great response. Last Saturday she picked up a few truckloads of supplies. Then, like any good organizer, she decided to grow the project and open it up to the entire community by posting it on her CasaQ email list.

The response so far has been huge, said Tenes. The San Jose Woman’s Club has opened its doors to accept contactless donations at its clubhouse on 70 S. 11th St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Clothing is not required, but people cannot donate perishable food items; Hand sanitizer, personal care products such as toothbrushes, toilet paper and shampoo; and face masks. The Latina Golf Association called to donate 300 N-95 masks, Tenes said.

“They need N-95 masks above all, not just because of coronavirus and allergies, but also because of the pesticides,” she said. “They are essential workers that people forget.”

Right now, Tenes said, she needs volunteers to help collect and sort donations on Friday and trucks – especially vans – that donations can be loaded onto on Friday afternoon and brought to the Salinas area on Saturday morning. Tenes is working with Catholic charities in Monterey County and the Alisal Health Center in Salinas to distribute the goods to the workers. But she also plans for the caravan to give the workers in the fields a “thank you” parade while they are there.

Tenes said all vehicles must be registered in advance and she is not making the departure point public on Saturday to ensure the humanitarian event isn’t hijacked by people just trying to get out of town for that day. If you can volunteer, send an email to [email protected] You can get more information and register to attend

“I was expecting to get a backlash, but surprisingly, I’ve only received positive feedback,” said Tenes. “So many people say they are so happy that we value these important people.”

FROM STAGE TO KITCHEN: The Center for the Performing Arts doesn’t do a lot of cooking these days, but the general manager of Broadway San Jose Gretchen Feyer is collecting fans to make the most of their idle time by contributing a recipe to the Broadway San Jose Family Cookbook.

Anyone – from kids who cook to professional chefs – can submit a recipe inspired by one of the upcoming 2020-21 season shows on Broadway San Jose, including Disney’s The Lion King, Tootsie, and Roald Dahls Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “One entry in each of three categories – Most Ingenious Recipe, Most Unique Ingredient, and Best Photo / Video – wins a Broadway San Jose bucket bag. Entries must be received by May 29. All details can be found at

The company also launched a Second Harvest Fundraiser in Silicon Valley, which worked overtime to feed people during the coronavirus pandemic. You can donate to these efforts at

“Similar to music theater, food nourishes the mind, body and soul,” said Feyer. “While our doors are temporarily closed, we wanted to find ways our customers could keep in touch with us and our community.”

GEAR WHEELS FOR GOOD: South Bay businesses and nonprofits continue to focus their activities on helping others during the coronavirus pandemic. The Hermitage Brewing Company of San Jose donated more than 550 gallons of beer to Blume Distillation in Watsonville to make hand sanitizer for distribution to first responders. The brew was picked up on Monday morning, but don’t worry – Hermitage still has plenty of beer on the shelves of grocery stores and other retail stores.

In the meantime, Family Giving Tree – which normally supplies low-income children with backpacks and Christmas gifts – has developed into an emergency provider for school supplies. “We made and delivered bags of the supplies they needed, and schools distributed them when families came to pick up their free lunches,” he said Jennifer Cullenbine, Founder, CEO and “Queen Elf” of Family Giving Tree.

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