Emcee Carol LeBeau described the project as "just one woman's idea, just one woman's dream."
Jane Radatz, a member of the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame, and chair of , was one of three women honored by Soroptimist International of Rancho Bernardo at its 22nd annual Gold and Silver Ball on Saturday at the Country Club of Rancho Bernardo.
"More and more families are struggling," Radatz said of the growing need for Backyard Produce, which supplies fresh fruits and vegetables to families through donations and a local garden. is one of the drop-off spots for project donations.
Radatz, who lives in Poway, was honored alongside 10News anchor Kimberly Hunt and Catherine Manis of Vista, who have worked to raise awareness about human trafficking in San Diego County.
Soroptimist RB is a service organization for women, and the annual awards spotlight local women who do work that benefits women and children in the community.
Hunt was tearful as she accepted her award from LeBeau, her former co-anchor at the news station, with her daughter standing beside her. It was Hunt's daughter Savannah, a 19-year-old student at Cornell University, who drew the anchor's attention to the problem of human trafficking when she was doing a school report about the issue.
"Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery," Hunt said. In 2010, she received Excellence in Journalism Awards from the San Diego Press Club for her work on sex trafficking and open air brothels.
Both Hunt and Manis talked about how young many of the girls are who get lured or forced into prostitution.
"Just know that it is happening in our neighborhoods," Manis said in her acceptance speech. Manis does pro bono case management for trafficking victims, organizes town halls about the issue and helps find housing for victims.
A transitional housing program is one of the highlight projects for Soroptimist RB, said chapter president Chris Ward. The Gold and Silver Ball also is a fundraiser for the group, which will help support the program, she said.
Soroptimist RB, in partnership with Soroptimist International of Poway, has provided transitional housing to 33 families and 72 children who are escaping domestic violence, Ward said. It costs about $600 per month to provide the housing, and the families are allotted 18 to 24 months to transition, she said.
The group is now including human trafficking in its areas of focus because it is happening in North County communities, even if people may not think so, said Ward and Gold and Silver Ball co-chair Michele Mason.
The RB Community Council who discussed human trafficking and described the different types of pimps who lure or force young girls into prostitution.
Ward said until people know that trafficking is happening in their backyards, it will be difficult to stop the problem.