SAN JOSE, Calif., December 16, 2022 — Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is issuing an urgent call for monetary donations as demand for its services continues to rise to near-peak pandemic levels. Financial donations from community members, which make up the majority of the food bank’s operating budget, have dropped 37% compared to two years ago when the number of people the food bank served was similar. At the same time, critical government food donations and funding that helped the food bank get through the peak of the pandemic have also ended forcing the nonprofit food bank to make up for the loss of much needed food and funds. Second Harvest still needs to raise $25M by the end of December to stay on track for the fiscal year.
“We are asking everyone in the community to give what they can today,” said Leslie Bacho, CEO of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. “During times of economic uncertainty, we’ve always come together to make sure our neighbors have access to enough nutritious food. This year is incredibly challenging—no one outside of Silicon Valley is going to come in to save Silicon Valley. It will take all of us.”
As the hub of charitable food assistance for Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Second Harvest is once again providing food to over 450,000 people every month – a more than 80% increase over pre-pandemic levels. Record high inflation and surging gas prices are taking a toll on local families and more are turning to the food bank for support.
“So many of our neighbors were hit hard during the pandemic and now they are grappling with the high cost of food, gas and other necessities due to record high inflation. When you add job cuts in tech, the ripple effect is felt throughout our community. Compared to last year at this time, the need for food assistance in Silicon Valley is up 15% and we are feeling the strain of the ongoing response on our own operations,” said Bacho.
Second Harvest has been providing almost double the amount of food since the pandemic started, and last year the food bank’s expenses were twice what they were pre-pandemic. With inflation at a 41-year high, it is now paying even more for food and transportation costs.
“Even though most of the food we receive is donated by large farms and food retailers, we still need to purchase large volumes of highly sought-after staples like milk, eggs, proteins and other commodities—and costs are up. The price of eggs alone has increased more than 250% over last year,” said Bacho.
Give monetary donations instead of food
The most efficient way to support Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is to make a monetary donation. Individuals, corporations and organizations can have a huge impact by making a financial gift. A $50 donation helps provide enough food for 100 meals. To support Second Harvest, visit shfb.org/donate to donate online or call 1-866-234-3663.
Charity Navigator Score:
For the 15th consecutive year, Second Harvest has received Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for financial stability, accountability and transparency — exceeding industry standards. Only 1% of the charities evaluated have received at least 15 consecutive 4-star ratings, indicating that Second Harvest of Silicon Valley outperforms most other charities in America.
How to get help
Second Harvest can connect people to a variety of food resources, including its own grocery distributions held in partnership with community organizations throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. The food bank also provides enrollment support for federally funded food assistance programs like CalFresh. Anyone who needs food should call Second Harvest’s multilingual Food Connection hotline at 1-800-984-3663, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., or visit shfb.org/GetFood. Staff speak English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and Tagalog. Three-way interpretation is available for other languages.
About Second Harvest of Silicon Valley
Founded in 1974, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is one of the largest food banks in the nation and a trusted nonprofit leader in ending local hunger. The organization distributes nutritious groceries through a network of nearly 400 partners at drive-thru and walk-up sites across Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Due to the prohibitively expensive cost of living in Silicon Valley and the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Second Harvest is now serving an average of about 500,00 people every month. Second Harvest also connects people to federal nutrition programs and other food resources, and advocates for anti-hunger policies on the local, state and national levels. To learn more about how Second Harvest is responding to the incredible amount of need in Silicon Valley, visit shfb.org.
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