Ocean liners are launched with the smack of champagne bottles over their bows. So when Food Share, which distributes donated food to the hungry in Ventura County, unveiled a gigantic new refrigerator freezer at its Oxnard warehouse Wednesday, retired executive director Jewel Pedi threw a snowball at the freezer's door.
Within minutes, the first forklift load of donated frozen food was put into the frosty locker. "Isn't this the coolest celebration you've ever been to?" Pedi said to the dozens of Food Share supporters and volunteers gathered for the "Big Freeze" opening.
"We'll never have to turn down donated food again," said Dan Williams, Food Share's volunteer coordinator. "We just got eight bins of peaches. Now we can store them. Spoilage is no longer a problem."
The $160,000 appliance--19 feet high by 88 feet deep by 30 feet wide--can hold 10 truckloads of food. It was purchased with donations from local cities, businesses, groups and individuals.