Food Connection

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Second Harvest Food Bank's Food Connection hotline provides information and referral to callers regarding how they can get food for themselves and their families. Food Bank staff refers them to our partner agencies, including pantries and hot meal programs and also pre-screens callers for Food Stamp eligibility. Information is provided in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and other languages by arrangement. The Food Connection Hotline has been in operation since 1987.

"Your programs are a blessing to all families in need like mine. Just when we had given up hope, your number came to us at the right time."

-Food Connection Hotline Caller

Program Description

The Food Bank's Food Connection Hotline Specialists screen callers and connect them with immediate and/or long-term food assistance resources. Occasionally, walk-in visitors to the Food Bank's distribution centers ask for assistance and our specialists meet with them one-on-one to determine their needs. While the Food Bank partners with more than 320 local non-profit agencies (soup kitchens, shelters, pantries, etc.), specialists also direct those in need to public programs like WIC (Women, Infants, Children) or school-based breakfast and lunch programs. Specialists are also trained to pre-screen and begin the CalFresh (food stamp) application process with callers. Whether in-person or by phone, all information gathered from each request is entered into a secure database while remaining completely confidential.

Population and Region Served

Any low-income resident or household in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties may call and receive information and referral. In FY 2016, 37,428 referrals were made. First-time referrals represented 21% of all referrals made. Most new callers represented the "new face of hunger," meaning individuals and families who have strong work histories who have never sought food assistance before in their lives.

For More Information

Call Vu Tran at 408.266.8866 ext.263 or email vtran@shfb.org.