California Giant Launches ‘Spreading Smiles’ Online Fundraising Platform

WATSONVILLE, CA (August 31, 2020) – In lieu of cancelled in-person fundraising events due to COVID-19, California Giant Berry Farms has launched an online platform to help financially support non-profit organizations in the greater Pajaro Valley area who actively work to better the livelihood of its community’s members.

Each year, California Giant hosts various fundraising events within the company as well as with the community, including its annual Skirt Steak BBQ. Due to the coronavirus pandemic which has put restrictions on in-person events, California Giant has organized an online platform to overcome this year’s unprecedented challenges while continuing to give back to the community.

“Year after year, California Giant has shown its care for our community here at Digital NEST, and we are grateful for their ongoing support,” said Jacob Martinez, executive director of Digital NEST. “We’re so glad that despite the current challenges we are all facing with the pandemic that their fundraising will go on. We hope that those who are moved by our mission will be inspired to give and rally around our community more than ever.”

California Giant’s annual Skirt Steak BBQ fundraiser has proved to be an important event to help uplift local non-profits like Digital NEST, helping them make an even bigger impact on the youth and young people they serve in Watsonville and Salinas with tech-focused workforce development skills.

Promotion of this fundraising event will take place now through November 30th and donors are encouraged to contribute to the Spreading Smiles GoFundMe page. California Giant Berry Farms will generously match these donations up to $20,000. The total amount raised during the virtual fundraiser promotion will be distributed to each of the following organizations just in time for the holiday season: CASA of Santa Cruz, Chamberlain’s Youth Services, DigitalNEST, Jacob’s Heart, Kinship Center, Monarch Services, Partnership for Children, Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, Pajaro Valley Shelter Services, The Salvation Army, California Giant Foundation’s Santa’s Workshop, Santa Cruz County Toys for Tots, and Teen Kitchen Project.

“Pajaro Valley Shelter Services (PVSS) thanks our long-term partner, California Giant, for bringing light in the face of the challenges that have stretched service providers in our community over the past months,” said Oana Alexan Katz, director of development at Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. “We urge you to donate in order to alleviate the needs of our community’s most vulnerable members, including families in PVSS’ care, children and their parents experiencing homelessness.”

“They bear the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic consequences, so they need your support more than ever to weather this crisis and continue walking the path to self-sufficiency,” continued Katz. “Although circumstances did not allow for the Skirt Steak BBQ to take place, we applaud California Giant for launching this virtual fundraising effort that will channel the amazing energy and generous spirit of your staff and the community at past BBQs.”

To learn more about the organizations featured in the virtual fundraising event and to make a donation, visit and click DONATE NOW.


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From the beginning, charitable giving of time and money has been a very important part of California Giant Berry Farms’ business. Today, the company gives countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars to 50+ worthy causes across the nation on an annual basis. In 2015, The California Giant Foundation was formed to unify the berry grower’s philanthropic initiatives and amplify the size and scope of their giving back. The California Giant Foundation consists of four pillars that inspire all of the charitable gifts, events and partnerships given or organized by the group, which include childhood obesity and school nutrition, hunger and food insecurity, prevention and awareness, and community.


Follow your berries to the farm.

Locate the 16-Digit Trace code.​ Enter the trace back code from your berries to learn about where they were grown. Too bad we can’t deliver the fresh fragrance, too!