Increased Community Need During COVID-19 Leads CVOC and SupplyBank.org to Leverage Job Training Program to Deliver Essential Aid to Families

Ramiro Velásquez, Trucking Instructor, Central Valley Opportunity Center

[April 1, 2021] Merced, California – An effort to deliver diapers, period supplies, PPE and other essential needs to organizations supporting farm workers and others hit hard by COVID-19 has evolved into something much more impactful. The Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC), the leading vocational and community support organization in the Central Valley and SupplyBank.org hosted an event to highlight the achievement of the joint-agencies’ COVID-relief efforts supporting hundreds of thousands of local families and creating new local jobs.

CVOC’s truck driving school trains displaced workers to become truck drivers and this partnership utilizes the delivery of essential supplies as hands-on training. “The pandemic has forced everyone in the Central Valley to rethink how we serve the community. Poverty has hit harder and deeper than ever before. Families are struggling to access even the most basic items like diapers, wipes, PPE, and sanitizer,” said Jorge De Nava Jr., Executive Director of CVOC.

“We combined SupplyBank.org’s model with our truck driving school. Together, we can procure supplies in massive quantities and then deliver the supplies to our communities ourselves. We can then provide more relief across the valley,” he added.

The pandemic has made even the most basic supplies unaffordable to millions of Californians. Through this partnership, CVOC and SupplyBank.org have made sure local agencies across the region can provide their community with essential supplies.

“SupplyBank.org works to support pathways out of poverty as we collaborate with our statewide network of partners to address some of the worst symptoms of it. The CVOC partnership does this. Hiring their truck driving school for our shipping needs for our COVID-response programs in the Central Valley, enables us to ensure the most vulnerable in our community have the materials they need to reduce spread of the Virus while supporting local job creation,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director of SupplyBank.Org.

“Starting as a pilot project prior to the Pandemic for diapers and other essentials, it expanded out of necessity to serve thousands of local families during COVID-19,” Delgado-Olson of SupplyBank.org added. “The innovative CVOC partnership is the right way to provide the community with essential supplies, create jobs and a model to grow throughout California and the nation.”

The impacts of the program and partnership have enabled trusted community-based organizations to support their most vulnerable families. “We had one family with six children infected with COVID-19 early on in the Pandemic,” said Mattie Mendez, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Madera County. “The diapers, PPE and other essentials provided by CVOC and SupplyBank.Org partnership allowed CAP-MC to ensure this family’s essential material needs were met when most needed. This partnership is a win-win for our agencies and the communities we serve.”

Left to right: Jorge De Nava Jr., Executive Director, Central Valley Opportunity Center
Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director, SupplyBank.org
Mattie Mendez, Executive Director, Community Action Partnership of Madera County
Ramiro Velásquez, Trucking Instructor, Central Valley Opportunity Center