PRLog - Aug. 18, 2009 - SANTA PAULA, CALIF.--Faced with mounting budget deficits, the Santa Paula Union High School District was forced to eliminate school bus service for the upcoming school year. To fill the void, Limoneira Company is funding a private, school bus service for children from the Limoneira ranch to Santa Paula High School. Bus transportation is provided by the Fillmore Area Transit Corporation (FATCO).
Many of the students needing bus transportation to the high school come from the west side of Santa Paula in and around the Limoneira ranch. "The school district is experiencing budget cutbacks and there is just no money to pay for transportation costs," says Harold Edwards, president and CEO of Limoneira. "We wanted to assist families who live on ranch property to get their children safely to school each day. These are challenging times for our state and for education. This is one way that we could help."
In its agreement with Limoneira Company, FATCO will supply a 40-passenger school bus and driver for transporting school children residing at Limoneira ranch to and from Santa Paula High School. FATCO is providing its services at cost. "We're always happy to work with Limoneira," says Chap Morris, owner of William L. Morris Chevrolet and FATCO. "This is a great effort and will help kids with their education."
The school district trimmed other services and programs but bus transportation was the only service entirely eliminated. "Limoneira is a long-time supporter of local education," says Dr. David Gomez, Santa Paula Union High School District superintendent. "School districts throughout the state are being asked to make very difficult budget decisions. We are very grateful that Limoneira stepped forward."
"We've talked with our employees and they are very happy to hear the news about the transportation program," says Rosie Castillo, Limoneira property manager. "Getting kids to and from school is a challenge, especially for working parents. This is one burden that they won't have to shoulder."
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The Limoneira Company was founded in Ventura County, California in 1893. Its founders were pioneers of spirit and vision that helped lay the foundations of a thriving California citrus industry. Their dedication and innovation in the agricultural industry helped found and develop many institutions that still exist (Sunkist Growers, Fruit Growers Supply and Diamond Walnut).
Today, Limoneira has evolved into a global company whose mission is to preserve and promote its tradition, heritage and legacy in agriculture, community development and land stewardship to maximize value for its shareholders. Sustainability and stewardship have been part of Limoneira's corporate culture for its entire history.