Connectivity: A New Vision of How
Although the reasons for hunger are complicated, feeding a family in need is not. Because of your help and generosity, last year we were able to provide 41 million meals to children, seniors, and hard-working adults who had nowhere else to turn. We served nearly a quarter of a million people every month last year. It's staggering to know that one in every 10 people in Silicon Valley and on the Peninsula received at least some of their food from the Food Bank.
Last year I wrote to you about our vision to end local hunger — to ensure that every person who needs a meal can get a meal — and about how the Food Bank planned to evolve to make that happen.
We started by adding a new facility — a produce hub and volunteer center — which also nearly quadrupled our available cooler space. For the first time in our history, fresh fruits and vegetables accounted for more than 50% of the food provided by Second Harvest.
Ironically, even as we added walls, we committed ourselves to a "new vision of how." We are determined to reach beyond our walls to exploit the capacity of our vast network, strengthen our collaborations by forging non-traditional partnerships, and redouble our efforts to connect people to food where they live, learn, work, and play.
Nationally, 70 billion pounds of food is wasted every year, far more than is needed by the 49 million people who struggle with hunger. You don't have to be a numbers person to figure out that there is enough food available to feed our hungry neighbors. Hunger is a solvable problem.
The solution to hunger is CONNECTIVITY. Therefore, our "new vision of how" is to supplement our highly efficient physical distribution of food by adopting new technology, orchestrating win-win collaborations, and connecting more people to food that would otherwise be wasted.
We have begun to amplify the ways we connect people to food by:
- Establishing multiple produce hubs throughout both counties, which are like neighborhood farmers' markets for local agencies serving low-income individuals
- Expanding our Grocery Rescue program, which makes excess food from local grocery stores available to neighborhood pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens
- Increasing our outreach to individuals who qualify for federal food stamps, successfully enrolling nearly 6,000 individuals in the program
As we continue to evolve, one constant is our commitment to stretching every donated dollar as far as it can go. Second Harvest is positioned to scale our operations, to improve our efficiency, and to drive down our cost per pound of food distributed... all of which will increase our impact.
Thank you for supporting Second Harvest Food Bank. Your insight, your compassion, and your gifts of time and treasure have enriched our journey. Your steadfast belief in our mission strengthens our resolve and continues to inspire those we serve.
Chief Executive Officer