Second Harvest Food Bank Kicks Off Holiday Food and Fund Drive
One in 10 of our neighbors relies on Second Harvest every month for food — Barracuda, EMC, and Samsung Lead Local Effort to Raise $15 Million
SAN JOSE, Calif., October 23, 2014– The holidays are a special time when family and friends get together to enjoy good food and celebrate. But for those struggling to put food on the table, it can also be a difficult time. To ensure that anyone who needs a meal can get one this holiday season – and all year long - Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties kicked off its Holiday Food and Fund Drive today with the goal of raising $15 million and 2 million pounds of food.
"We are continuing to see unprecedented need," said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. "The economy is rebounding, but the cost of living is soaring, making it difficult for many of the families we serve to get by."
The average apartment rent in Silicon Valley has risen more than 10% in the last year, which leaves less money for food each month. It takes more than $82,000 per year for a family of four to pay their bills and put food on the table. Yet according to a recent study on local hunger, the vast majority of households served by Second Harvest have an annual income of $20,000 or less.
"One of the most heartbreaking parts of the study was learning about some of the strategies people use to feed their families," Jackson said. "About two-thirds of our clients purchase cheap, unhealthy foods to make ends meet. They know the food is unhealthy, but it's what they can afford. That's why Second Harvest has put so much emphasis on making sure people have access to nutritious food, including fruits and vegetables. More than half the food Second Harvest distributes is fresh produce. In fact, Second Harvest distributes more fresh produce than any other food bank in the country."
Half of Second Harvest's clients report eating food past its expiration date, a third water down food and drinks, and nearly a quarter sell or pawn personal property so that they can eat. "Hunger remains a serious problem in our community – impacting everyone from families and children to colleagues and friends – and the holidays are a critical time for food banks," said BJ Jenkins, CEO and President, Barracuda. "Barracuda has been a proud partner of Second Harvest for the past three years, and we urge everyone to join our cause and help support the Second Harvest Holiday Food and Fund Drive to bring healthy meals to those in need."
Nearly 250,000 people rely on Second Harvest for food every month, and more than half are children and seniors.
"We are extremely honored to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank for another year supporting such a critical mission," added Guy Churchward, President of Backup and Recovery Systems at EMC Corporation, a presenting sponsor of the Holiday Food and Fund Drive. "Through Second Harvest Food Bank, the community is learning healthy ways to feed their families, and our 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 ending local hunger."
To ensure that everyone has access to the nutritious food they need to thrive right in their own neighborhoods, 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, schools, and community centers. 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 more than 55 million pounds of food to the community, including nearly 30 million pounds of produce.
The Holiday Food and Fund Drive is critical because Second Harvest raises nearly half its revenues during the holiday season. While Second Harvest provides food to a quarter of a million people every month all year long, many people think about hunger during the holidays.
Individuals, corporations, and organizations can help to ensure that anyone who needs a meal can get one by donating to Second Harvest Food Bank or hosting a food and fund drive this holiday season. To support the campaign, visit www.shfb.org or call 866-234-3663. Anyone who needs food should call Second Harvest's Food Connection hotline at 800-984-3663.
"Samsung praises the tremendous effort that Second Harvest Food Bank is making to feed a quarter of a million people every month who would otherwise go hungry in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties," said Scott Birnbaum, Executive Sponsor, Corporate Citizenship and Vice President, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc., a presenting sponsor of the Holiday Food and Fund Drive. "We are proud to be a leading Second Harvest donor and to provide ongoing volunteer assistance. We're encouraging other successful Silicon Valley companies to learn how even modest donations can help Second Harvest to supply more than a million pounds of food per week. Your help can truly make a difference."
About Second Harvest
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is the trusted leader dedicated to ending local hunger. Since its inception in 1974, Second Harvest has become one of the largest food banks in the nation, providing food to one quarter of a million people each month. The Food Bank mobilizes individuals, companies and community partners to connect people to the nutritious food they need. More than half of the food distributed is fresh produce. Second Harvest also plays a leading role in promoting federal nutrition programs and educating families on how to make healthier food choices. Visit www.SHFB.org to get involved.
About EMC Corporation
EMC Corporation is a global leader in enabling businesses and service providers to transform their operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping IT departments to store, manage, protect and analyze their most valuable asset — information — in a more agile, trusted and cost-efficient way. Additional information about EMC can be found at www.EMC.com.
About Barracuda Networks, Inc.
Barracuda (NYSE: CUDA) provides cloud-connected security and storage solutions that simplify IT. These powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions are trusted by more than 150,000 organizations worldwide and are delivered in appliance, virtual appliance, cloud and hybrid deployments. Barracuda's customer-centric business model focuses on delivering high-value, subscription-based IT solutions that provide end-to-end network and data security. For additional information, please visit barracuda.com.
About Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.
Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. is a wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.—the industry's leader in DRAM, NAND Flash, solid state drives, mobile DRAM and graphics memory. We are also one of the largest providers of system logic and imaging solutions, as well as advanced process design and manufacturing for fabless companies. In addition, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. has advanced laboratories focused on product design and research in: logic, memory, image sensors, displays and mobile technologies. In addition, the company is a sales, marketing and research arm of Samsung Display Company, the largest producer of LCD and OLED displays. Together with our parent company, Samsung Electronics, we are transforming the worlds of TVs, smartphones, tablets, PCs, cameras, home appliances, printers, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. Visit www.samsung.com/us/oem-solutions.