Second Harvest Food Bank kicked off its holiday food drive Friday, hoping to raise $13.2 million and collect 2 million pounds of donated food through January to meet the rising need during the holidays and all year long, according to a press release from Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
While the economy might be improving in Silicon Valley, the need for food continues to rise, according to the press release. The number of people served by Second Harvest has grown to more than 250,000 - about one in 10 people in the two-county region.
“Now that the recession is in the rearview mirror, many people think the need for food has gone down, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “The reality is more people continue to need help from the Food Bank. The numbers are going up, not down. The recession pushed many of our neighbors into poverty and we haven’t seen the kind of rebound in the job market that is needed to get people back on their feet. So it continues to be very hard times for the people we serve.”
Second Harvest Food Bank is co-sponsoring the holiday food drive with Barracuda Networks and EMC Corporation.
“We are extremely proud to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank for another year supporting such a critical mission,” said Guy Churchward, President of EMC Corporation. “Through Second Harvest, the community is learning healthy ways to feed their families and ensuring local children have the nourishment they need to excel in the classroom. At EMC, we firmly believe that education is one of the best ways to invest in society's future. EMC’s sponsorship of Second Harvest underscores our strong commitment to the community and will transform the way we all think about hunger.”
Second Harvest Food Bank partners with more than 330 nonprofit agencies to provide food at more than 770 sites throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and after-school programs, according to the press release. Second Harvest is one of only a few food banks in the nation that does not charge its partners for the food it provides. Last year, the Food Bank distributed nearly 52 million pounds of food to the community. More than 50 percent of the food Second Harvest provides is fresh produce.
The Holiday Food and Fund Drive is critical because Second Harvest raises nearly half its revenues during the holiday season, the press release continues. While Second Harvest provides food to more than 250,000 people every month all year long, many people think about hunger during the holidays.
Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support the Second Harvest holiday campaign by visiting www.shfb.org or calling 866-234-3663. Anyone who needs food should call Second Harvest’s Food Connection hotline at 800-984-3663.