“When I saw people picking oranges from my apartment across the way, I came here and they said I needed to volunteer,” Shruthi said. “So I just volunteered and I’m happy to be here.”
Shruthi graduated from San Jose State University and remembers getting food from the school’s food pantry when she was a student. Second Harvest partners with college food pantries in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and provides a mix of produce and dry goods at no cost to any student in need.
“We used to get groceries every month and us five roommates would show up to Spartan Pantry (at San Jose State) and stand in line,” Shruthi said. “I come from India and I had student loans. At the time, one dollar was 73 Rupees for me. It was really nice to receive that food. It was really nutritious: fruits, rice, beans, dairy. We got this wholesome food which we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford because we were always converting dollar to Rupees and thinking, ‘oh I can’t buy these things.’”
Special thanks to Craig Diserens, the executive director of Village Harvest, for organizing this amazing donation. Village Harvest just celebrated its 20-year anniversary of connecting people in need to locally grown produce. It donates up to 250,000 pounds of produce a year to organizations in the Bay Area.