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Pictured: Reel Guppy Outdoors is presented with a check from the Port-City Community Benefit Fund in Port Hueneme. Steven Gama (left), Port Hueneme City Councilmember; Celina Zacarias, Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner; Richard Rollins, Mayor of Port Hueneme; Kevin Brannon, founder Reel Guppy Outdoors; Mary Anne Rooney, President Oxnard Harbor District; Laura Hernandez, Port Hueneme City Councilmember. Feb. 17, 2022. Photo submitted. 

by Kimberly Rivers

Food Share costs soar

Hunger relief nonprofit Food Share mounted a campaign to raise $200,000 by Feb. 22 to cover the monthly cost of providing food to the 140,000 people in Ventura County who regularly experience food insecurity. 

In 2021 the organization distributed nearly 19 million pounds of food for 16 million meals to Ventura County residents. 

“A case of canned mixed fruit costs 39% more now than it did in 2020, largely as a result of increased freight charges,” said Monica White, President and CEO of Food Share. 

Rising food prices and inflation are hitting the organization and all food banks who purchase bulk food on the open market. 

All donations that were raised by Feb. 22 were matched, up to $100,000, by Gene Haas Foundation and the Pennymac Giving Fund.

Reel Guppy gets $5K from port, city of Port Hueneme

A joint fund, the Port-City Community Benefit Fund, has contributed $5,000 to Reel Guppy Outdoors in support of the Oxnard-based nonprofit youth program. Reel Guppy was founded 10 years ago by Kevin Brannon, a resident of Port Hueneme, with the aim of providing ways for local youth to learn about boating, fishing and getting out on the water in general. The organization leads no-cost trips for kids and their families to Lake Casitas, the Channel Islands and provides educational materials to local classrooms and has just opened a new dockside learning center at Fisherman’s Wharf, 2741 S. Victoria Avenue, Suite D.

Land purchase for new park in Conejo Recreation and Park District

The Conejo Recreation and Park District has announced the purchase of two residential properties totalling 5.4 acres for $975,000 from the Goldfield family to build a community park. The site is located within the city of Thousand Oaks between Rimrock Road and Rollings Oaks Drive. According to district officials, this will fill the need for a park south of Highway 101. The district plans to host community meetings to receive input on what the local community wants to begin the planning process for the new park. According to district records the district currently has 583 acres of parks, with four sites remaining undeveloped. 

Mission Produce appoints new director of agronomy

On Feb. 15, Mission Produce, a publicly traded company based in Oxnard, announced the appointment of Dr. Daniel Klittich to a new position in the company, director of agronomy. Klittich is noted as an “expert” in avocado crop production, having studied agronomy for 15 years with a focus on avocados for six years. He holds a Ph.D. in entomology and nematology from University of California, Davis and is a credentialed Pest Control Advisor and holds a Qualified Applicators License. Part of Klittich’s role will include working with growers to increase yields. Mission is a global distributor of Hass avocados and mangos. 

Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 12 

Dust off your green hats! After not taking place for two years due to the pandemic, the Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, March 12, at 10 a.m. The theme for the parade is “One World, One Air, We All Share,” and the grand marshall is Nan Drake, the governmental affairs and public relations director for E.J. Harrison and Sons. The parade route will be down Main Street from Lincoln Drive to Fir Street. One hundred entrants will be accepted into the parade and the deadline to enter is March 3. For entry questions call Aaron Gaston, 805-340-8217 or Dan McGrath, 805-231-2779. Registration information is online at