A man hears laughter rising from a neighbor’s yard. Vibrant heads of cabbage peak out of brown boxes, and jugs of milk swing in small hands to the rhythm of joyful humming. When this man enters his own home, his children ask why they can’t pick up fresh fruits from school too. Nightmares of paperwork and a small note affecting his next green card’s renewal silence him.

He used to receive fresh and healthy food from Second Harvest, but now he volunteers at catered community meetings. He has become familiar with the refreshments table–the three scratches on the left side and one large gash on the right. Some nights, his family will only eat cookies or cake. He is thankful for the days where sandwiches or salads sit on black plastic platters.

The story above comes from a real client who signed up for Second Harvest programs more than a year ago. Now, he worries about risking his residency by receiving help. He will no longer be able to have healthy food at his table.

Food Connection Manager Vicky Avila-Medrano has observed how fear weakens migrant communities. She explains, “Rumors and dramatic media coverage have convinced many immigrants that the worst-case scenario is real. Clients approach and timidly ask, ‘Will this government decision affect me?’ I explain that Second Harvest welcomes all who can benefit from our programs. We explain and motivate but do not push.”

All clients should feel welcomed, empowered and comfortable when receiving food from Second Harvest.

Hunger is not political – we remain focused on our mission. Bubbles surrounding gleaming plums and crisp broccoli now invite clients to our sites with a message of hospitality in seven languages. These new flyers are designed to calm fears related to immigration and accessing our services. Visitors are reminded that “all are welcome here” and that Second Harvest is not a government agency.

Our goal is to provide people with the nutritious food they need to thrive. No one should go hungry in Silicon Valley.

These posters welcome clients to Second Harvest’s partner agencies.

Second Harvest is here to help with free food resources. We provide free groceries and hot meals and help clients apply for CalFresh. Families get connected to school and summer meals.

We encourage people to call Donor Relations at 866-234-3663 or email them at donor.relations@shfb.org with any questions or concerns.

Need food? Contact our multilingual Food Connection Team at 1-800-984-3663 or visit shfb.org/getfood.