Since its inception in 1959, the Artichoke Festival has embraced a mission of giving back to the community through a family-oriented celebration.

With a growing number of families now experiencing hunger, the festival has organized a Drive-up/Drop-off Food Drive on Thursday, April 9 to benefit the Food Bank for Monterey County.

The longtime charity partner of the Artichoke Festival leads community efforts in the awareness and elimination of hunger. Food Bank for Monterey County is the largest and most comprehensive provider of emergency supplemental food and a key proponent of anti-hunger education and advocacy.

Designed to be a simple and safe procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the food drive will be held at two locations from 1-7 p.m. Community members can drop off any non-perishable food items to either the Prunedale Chevron (8695 Prunedale North Road, Prunedale) or Giant Artichoke Fruit Stand & Deli (11221 Merritt St., Castroville). There is no need for anyone to leave their car as donations will be retrieved from the car’s trunk or back seat.

Those who want to help the cause but cannot drive to the drop-off locations can go online to www.artichokefestival.org and donate money directly. Just hit the “donate now” button and choose the amount and the specific charity, including the Food Bank. One-hundred percent of all donations will be forwarded to the charity of choice.

In light of the current crisis, and in the interest of public health and safety, the Artichoke Festival has moved the annual summer celebration from May 30-31 to Aug. 8-9, at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center in Monterey.

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