Community Involvement

Kern Valley prison staff, population donate $116,000 to community

Prison staff donate a check to a veterans organization.
Kern Valley prison staff donate $10,000 to the Honor Flight of Kern County. The Honor Flight program transports veterans at no cost to memorials. They were one of many organizations receiving a donation from the prison.

Food sales boost morale, benefit non-profit groups

By Lt. John Melvin

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) staff and the incarcerated population raised $116,000 to donate to local groups. At the same time, they managed to offset lost privileges to the incarcerated population through food sales.

The pandemic caused canteen shortages, cessation of in-person visiting and lack of recreation equipment. Outside the prison, the community’s non-profit organization lost their ability to hold traditional fundraisers.

To find solutions, KVSP Executive Staff worked with the Inmate Advisory Councils.

They determined food sales for the incarcerated population could:

  • Serve as a substitute for lost privileges
  • Infuse badly needed revenues in local dining establishments
  • Generate much-needed donation dollars for charities.

Kern Valley prison staff, incarcerated population donate thousands

The KVSP Community Resource Manager’s Office facilitated three safe and successful food sales, generating over $116,000 to donate to local causes.

“It was a win-win at such an awkward and difficult time.  All of the recipients were beyond surprised, amazed and grateful. They could not say thank you enough,” said Kevin Nugent, KVSP’s Community Resource Manager. 

Donation recipients:

  • Jesse Acebedo memorial Golf Tournament, $250
  • Relay for Life – Delano Family Matters Team, $2,500
  • Sneakers for Soldiers, $5,000
  • Special Olympics of Southern California, $10,000
  • Tulare Western Football, $976.40
  • Visalia Wolf Pack, $976.40
  • Pond School, 162 students $30 gift cards each, $4,860
  • Pond School Holiday Celebration Activities, $1,140
  • Richgrove School, 571 students, $25 gift card each, $14,275
  • Casa Hernandez Housing, 94 residents $50 gift card each, $4,700
  • Delano Skilled Nursing, 130 resident blankets $22 each, $2,860
  • Delano Skilled Nursing, Thanksgiving celebration dinner, $1,140
  • Shaver Lake Volunteer Fire Department, $5,000, https://shaverlakefire.org/
  • Visalia Wolf Pack Baseball Team, $1,000
  • Delano Community Alliance, $2,908.66
  • Nueva Vista Language Academy, $4,000
  • McFarland Lions Club, $3,000, https://www.facebook.com/McFarland-Lions-Club-1589550354623711/
  • Toys for Tots, $2,500, https://www.toysfortots.org/Default.aspx
  • Delano Kiwanis Club – Giving Tree, $1,000
  • Kitchen W/O Walls – 1st Assembly of God Church, $4,001
  • Diablo Wrestling, $500
  • Delano Ravens Softball, $500
  • Bakersfield Babes Softball, $500
  • Minter Airfield Museum, $1,000, https://minterfieldairmuseum.com/
  • Valley Children’s Hospital, $10,000, https://www.valleychildrens.org/
  • Honor Flight Kern County, $10,000
  • CASA Kern County, $2,500
  • Wounded Heroes Fund, $8,000
  • Valley Oak SPCA, $2,500
  • MARE Riding Center, $2,500
  • Alpha Canine Sanctuary, $2,500
  • Ronald McDonald House, $3,500, https://www.rmhc.org/

Learn more about CDCR’s community involvement.