An astonishing 1 in 6 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties receives food from Second Harvest of Silicon Valley every month, half of whom are kids and seniors. Food insecurity has always existed here but is even more dire today, forcing more families, students and seniors to make tough choices when it comes to their food budgets.

According to a January 2024 client survey, the majority of people who rely on Second Harvest for food assistance are struggling to get by every month. Clients reported that: 

  • – Nearly 60% of respondents have less than $100 in savings. 
  • – More than 60% of respondents are worried about their ability to pay their rent or mortgage next month. 
  • – More than 90% of respondents report their financial situation is the same or worse than it was a year ago. 

These results illustrate how challenging times are for many of our neighbors and are further evidence of how the cost-of-living crisis in Silicon Valley is leaving many people, even those who are working, unable to pay their rent and still put food on the table.  

“Our most expensive bills are rent and utilities. Our rent goes up a lot every year now. It’s like, they want to charge the same as other apartment buildings in the area. We were doing okay before they started raising the prices. Suddenly, the rent is going up twice a year,” said Lucia, a Second Harvest client.

In this area of vast wealth, nearly one-third of all households do not earn enough money to meet their most basic needs without private or public assistance. 

“I was always trying to think of some way to cook for my entire house. Usually, it would be soup. Sometimes, I would increase the water content so it would feel like there was more,” said Hansaint, a college student and Second Harvest client and volunteer. 

Food insecurity is a solvable problem if we all come together and invest in our community. Your support is crucial to ensuring that kids, families and individuals have access to the nutritious food they need.