Agency Partner and Site Leader Resources

Keeping critical resources moving to people who need them

Our partnership is more important than ever as we all work to make sure our community gets the healthy food they need during the COVID-19 outbreak. We will use this page to post announcements and resources. Please call your Program Manager with any questions. If you are not sure who that is, email

Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated April 3, 2020

Will Second Harvest have enough food to serve the expanded need?

Yes, we have enough food to meet the potential growing need and do not anticipate facing a shortage. Our food sourcing team is working hard to predict our needs and to source enough donated and purchased food to meet the demand.

What if I need more volunteers?

Please contact your Program Manager if you need help sourcing volunteers. If you don’t know how to reach your Program Manager, email or call  408-266-8866, ext 359.

I don’t know how to reach my Program Manager.

If you don’t know how to reach your Program Manager, email or call  408-266-8866, ext 359.

How should I report my numbers to Second Harvest during this time?

Your reports are more important than ever as they help ensure we secure enough food. Please do your best to keep accurate track of the numbers of people you are serving and continue to report in the same way you always do.  We have developed a simple registration form for Second Harvest programs that agency partners may wish to use. You can ask your Program Manager for more details.

How often can clients attend a distribution?

In order to ensure we can provide food to everyone in need, we are asking that clients who are receiving weekly pre-boxed groceries not come more than once per week and clients receiving bi-weekly pre-boxed groceries only come twice-monthly. Clients receiving monthly groceries can call our Food Connection hotline at 1-800-984-3663 if they need more food. Note that food quantities are adjusted based on distribution frequency.

When can volunteers and clients who have (or think they have) COVID-19 return to a food distribution?

People with COVID-19 or any other respiratory illness who have stayed home (home isolated for 14 days) can stop home isolation under the following conditions listed below.

If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can leave home after these three things have happened:

  • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers), AND
  • other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved), AND
  • at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared

Should our staff and volunteers be wearing masks?

Effective April 17, 2020, San Mateo County issued an order that everyone must wear face coverings when visiting or working at essential businesses. It is also Santa Clara County’s strong recommendation to adopt this policy. In addition to details below, we have created a flyer directing everyone to wear a mask. Find the flyer here or in the Resources/Flyers section of this webpage. Please post it!

What does this mean for your staff and volunteers?

Staff and volunteers visiting your office space, warehouse, and working in your meal, pantry or grocery distribution program, or interacting with anyone on behalf of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, regardless of location, must wear a face covering at all times while working or passing through any shared areas/spaces.

What does this mean for clients?

Clients are required to cover their faces when visiting essential services such as your pantry, grocery distribution or meal program. Clients picking up food in their car when attending a drive-thru distribution are not required to wear a mask.

Our mission still remains to provide food to anyone who needs it, so we want to avoid having to turn anyone away from getting food for lack of a face covering. In the event that a client can’t cover their face, a volunteer can bring the food to them if they have a car, or provide a face covering for them to use in line, when possible.

What is considered a face covering? 

While masks, scarves or bandanas may be the most ideal, any cloth that covers a person’s nose, mouth and surrounding area can be used; children who are 12 and under are not required to wear face coverings. Face coverings that are not disposed of after each use should be cleaned frequently.

You can find information the CDC has published about cloth face coverings, including how to make your own, here.

Will Second Harvest provide masks?

We have a limited supply of masks for Second Harvest volunteers and are working to secure more for partners and if possible, for clients. To request masks:

    • Sites which receive a green mail bag for communications and paperwork: Request masks via the communication form.
    • Agency partners and other sites that do not receive a green mail bag: Contact your Program Manager, including the number of masks you need and they will arrange masks for you if they are available.

In the absence of Second Harvest provided masks, volunteers and clients should provide their own face coverings.

I distribute USDA food. Are there any changes to USDA rules during COVID-19?

EFA-7 form

    • Sites that receive USDA food must continue to complete the EFA 7 form for all clients.
    • Site staff/volunteer should fill in all of the client’s information, writing in the client’s name and address, checking if they have received USDA food in the last month and noting COVID-19 in the signature area.

Alternate pick-ups

    • A client does not need to provide a new alternate pick-up form or note for each distribution.
    • Clients are no longer limited to five alternate pick-up forms being presented at one time.

Short-term alternate pick-up sites

    • May be implemented without prior authorization.
    • Short-term alternate pick-up site agreement shall not exceed 90 days.
    • The site must contact and receive permission from each client for the short-term service (via phone call or other means).
    • The alternate pick-up person may then sign on the behalf of the client and indicate “COVID-19.”
    • The site must notify Second Harvest of the locations of each short-term pick-up site.


This page will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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