Help provide access to food that families can count on

We are now providing food to an average of 500,000 people every month – double the number of neighbors we served before the crisis.








Maria began getting food from her local walk-up food distribution site prior to the pandemic. But when shelter-in-place hit, she noticed her site changed as well. One day while she was standing in line waiting for food, she noticed the line was moving very slowly, so she asked one of the volunteers named Margarita what was wrong. She told her that it was slow that day because they didn’t have enough volunteers to help distribute the food. That’s when Maria asked if she could be a volunteer. That was five months ago, and she is still volunteering now. Maria says volunteering gives her a sense of purpose in her community

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Andy is a client, volunteer, father and proud veteran who is dedicated to connecting other veterans to food assistance. He served 12 years in the military and is especially proud of running San Francisco’s Fleet Week after returning to the Bay Area as a military recruiter.

Last year, Andy was studying sociology while also working in veterans’ services at Cañada College; he really appreciated having the chance to connect people to free groceries and other assistance programs. Unfortunately, Andy lost his job at the college when the pandemic hit. His role as a youth football coach has also been impacted, though he is maintaining his close connection with his athletes.

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Jaime worked as a plumber for six years before he was furloughed last April and had to move back in with his parents. Yet despite his frustrating circumstances, Jaime speaks with enthusiasm and a never-ending smile as he explains that life is now about family and coming together.

The Bay Area’s high cost of living is challenging. Jaime’s mother and father are both retired and the family is struggling with rent. Despite getting food from Second Harvest and collecting unemployment benefits, the family is barely managing to pay rent and bills on time.

Still, Jaime tries to take care of his family and others. He brings food to his aunties and uncles, including fish caught by his father, and reaches out to his friends and family members who live alone. To Jaime, staying positive and looking out for your neighbors is essential.



Kat, her mother Maricel and her son Ezekiel represent three generations at the Doelger Senior Center drive-thru in Daly City. Like so many others, the family has faced unexpected challenges this past year—Kat lost her job in retail and Maricel had her hours cut.

The family, which also includes Kat’s father, learned about Second Harvest’s free groceries from one of Maricel’s co-workers, and they began receiving food over the summer.

“We registered and got the food on the same day,” Kat said. “It was really easy. The thing that I didn’t expect was that they would give me a chicken. I thought they were going to give you cooked food, like what they do for seniors. … It’s good though because you can make three meals from that chicken. I was surprised. It has helped to come here. We’re struggling to pay rent. They cut my mom’s hours and she’s the only one working right now.”

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Former UFC Champion Cain Velasquez shares his own experience with hunger and why he feels it’s important to give back to the community where he was raised.

“Thank you for the delivery of food… I was so impressed. It was almost like a second Christmas.”

– Anonymous senior

We rely on volunteers to meet the need


“Sorting and boxing produce means I have muscles now that I never had before! Volunteering is a rewarding way to make a difference in the community.”

– Martha, volunteer

“When I come out here every day, whether it’s for the volunteers or even those coming to get the food, it’s to help spread positivity, put a smile on people’s faces and just make a difference and a positive impact in their day.”

– Jordan, volunteer


I get excited when my mom gets the food. Sometimes with the chicken, she makes molé. For special occasions, like birthdays.

– Martin, Redwood City

We are now serving
143,000 KIDS
on average every month.

We help schools, libraries and camps leverage federal dollars and provide infrastructure like meal carts so they can serve more kids during the summer months. This enabled the delivery of more than 650,000 meals last summer.

“These meals make me strong like my favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. I like being strong.”

– Isela


We are so thankful that we heard about this [service] because now we don’t have to worry about food anymore.

– Lázaro, Mountain View

We launched
providing pre-boxed food.

“[When I first came to get food] Oh, I said, “Oh my God, are you kidding?” It was very good. They give you three or four boxes of things. And they’re not always the same. So, they change it up.”

– Richard, Milpitas

“The pandemic has affected me as I lost my job, and I have seen that many people got sick and I’m afraid of getting sick as well as afraid of my family getting sick.”

– Jesús, Redwood City


The hardworking staff and volunteers of Second Harvest have made us homebound seniors feel grateful and joyful.

– Liying, home delivery client, Saratoga

We distribute food through more than
to reach people in nearly every corner of Silicon Valley, from Daly City to Gilroy.

“I’m on a fixed income. Sometimes I run out of food, so I go to the distribution on campus and the food I get there helps me.”

– Sheba

“All I have done is work hard and help the community as much as I can. And now the community is helping me.”

– Natalio


Because of the coronavirus, I didn’t want to go anywhere. I was scared to even take a step outside.

– Ernesto, San Jose

Our home delivery program serves more than
on average every month.

“[The most challenging aspect of home delivery is] the sense that the need is growing and not shrinking. You’d love to find out that the sweet lady who waved at you from her window last week is okay now and doesn’t need the food. But we’re delivering to her house again.

– True, home delivery volunteer with Team Rubicon

“[Speaking with clients] is like speaking to my grandma. I love connecting with them and letting them know it’s not just about adding them to a list… I like to make sure they know that we care.”

– Suleyma, Regional Program Coordinator, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley


Natasha needed help when she left an abusive relationship with her husband, taking her children, 16-year-old Tyler and 6-year-old Kai, with her. They left their home with nothing.

Soon she was connected to Second Harvest, and was able to get fresh fruits and vegetables for her family. They were also able to move into a shelter operated by LifeMoves, one of Second Harvest’s partner agencies.

A year later, Natasha’s family lives in a townhouse in San Jose and she works as an accountant at a local children’s hospital. Natasha is able to focus on healing and providing for her boys. She shared:

“I couldn’t have done everything I had to do in the past year without nutritious food.”

A typical client receives
$250 WORTH
of free groceries every month from a Second Harvest distribution, freeing up dollars that can be used to pay for housing and other basic necessities.

When Rebekah’s son was born premature and with low blood sugar, she knew he would need plenty of nutritious food to grow up healthy and strong. She shared:

“It’s helpful because it’s expensive to eat healthy otherwise. This just helps tremendously. It’s a big, heavy weight lifted.”