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July 18, 2024

Bank donates to Teen Kitchen Project

WATSONVILLE — During a fierce live auction at the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards dinner in January, the Santa Cruz County Bank came out on top after a back-and-forth battle over a gift package.

That package was known as “A Feast from the Pajaro Valley,” which consisted of an assortment of food donated by Watsonville Coast Produce, Freedom Meat Lockers, California Giant Berries, Martinelli’s and Monterey Mushrooms, a gas grill courtesy of Renee Mello of KW Real Estate and propane with refills from Amerigas.

Recently, the bank donated the prize to Teen Kitchen Project, a nonprofit that teaches young people how to cook nutritious food, which is then delivered to local people who are suffering from life-threatening illnesses.

“As a community partner and Chamber member, we are very pleased to support the Chamber as well as the mission of Teen Kitchen Project with this gift,” said Mary Anne Carson, senior vice president of Santa Cruz County Bank. “We know this will allow Teen Kitchen access to fresh, nutritional food from local companies, and will enable them to increase the number of meals served to local families in need.”

Angela Farley, executive director of Teen Kitchen Project, said the organization serves 400 meals a week.

“We are absolutely thrilled with this donation and it is so valuable in helping us serve our mission,” she said. “Santa Cruz County Bank’s generous gift will enable us to serve a greater number of nutritious meals to families who are going through very difficult times.”

Shaz Roth, president and CEO of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, called the donation a “complete trifecta.”

“We absolutely love the domino effect of this gift that keeps on giving,” she said. “First, all of the donations made by local businesses helped support the Chamber, then Santa Cruz County Bank bought the auction item at our fundraiser, and then the bank turned around and donated the gift to a local nonprofit organization.”

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