By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
EU graduates donate almonds to food banks
NuttsDSC 2852
Mike Mallory and Karry Perez of Manteca’s Second Harvest Food Bank on Industrial Park Drive check in nine pallets of Madi K’s almond snack packs for distribution. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Two boys who grew up into successful professionals are behind a huge donation of almond snack packs to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Mike Kooyman and Scott Brooks – the head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Oklahoma City Thunder– are key players in getting the nine pallets, 24 cases each, of the two ounce packs delivered to the Manteca facility for distribution where the need exists.

Kooyman, whose dad Casey owned and operated a medical lab on Center Street in the ‘60s, is the owner of Madi K Almonds with orchards that stretch for much of the length of I-5.

The men both graduated from East Union High School in 1993. Brooks was named this year’s NBA Coach of the Year.

The men were motivated to share the agricultural bounty of the region with the hungry as a way of giving thanks for their own successes.  They have partnered with the California Association of Food Banks to provide their almond donations to emergency food providers across the state that included the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

“There is a big difference between being not hungry and well nourished,” Brooks said.  

Scott grew up in Lathrop with the two boys working in the almond orchards after high school before Scott went off to college, basketball with the ‘76ers and ultimately into his present career as a coach.

It was last year that Scott and Mike became the founding board members of GiveBack2God, a 501 (c3) nonprofit operation that provides individual servings of healthy, nutritious almonds to food banks across the U.S. and to international disaster relief organizations.

Madi K’s is owned by third generation almond farmers who have been growing and harvesting almonds for over four decades in Central California.  They have over 5,500 acres of almond orchards in production and the 15th largest almond grower in the world.

 “Almonds are such a wonderful gift for us,” said Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Mike Mallory. “This particular items would ordinarily be out of our price range, but it’s great to be able to provide such a nutritious food to the children we serve.”

The Manteca food bank serves some 3,200 children each month.

The firm is credited with maintaining the highest quality standards of almond products manufactured and packaged in three state-of-the-art Southern California factories where they pride themselves in a tenet that emulates family values consisting of trust, integrity, pride of ownership and passion for producing delicious and healthy almond products.

To learn more about Second Harvest go to Local food  And to see more on the internet about the charity’s almond distribution program go to