Give What Matters

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

COVID-19 STORIES 

KIDS

COLLEGE STUDENTS

SENIORS

VETERANS

FAMILIES

MANNY, WAREHOUSE MANAGER

In over 20 years of working at Second Harvest, Warehouse Manager Manny Bravo has seen a lot of changes — but nothing compared to this year:

“This pandemic has pushed us to our limits. I don’t think we knew how far we could be pushed, and we have met the challenges head-on. This has made me stronger and has given me more confidence to know I can take on whatever is coming. We have increased our goals dramatically for this fiscal year, and I say, ‘Bring it on!’”

Read Manny’s full account ›
Manny

ELIZABETH, SAN JOSE

A church in San Jose has lines of cars snaked throughout its parking lot, but no one is there to attend service; instead, inside every car is a driver and their family waiting to accept boxes of groceries in their trunk.

Elizabeth’s family—her husband and three children—started coming to this drive-thru distribution in the most recent months of the pandemic. “My husband works in a company that makes equipment for hospitals and they actually have a lot of demand right now, so they are asking him to not rest, to miss as little workdays as possible so they can fulfil all of the orders they have.”

But Elizabeth, who has been a professional hairdresser for over 19 years, lost her income when her salon had to unexpectedly close at the beginning of shelter-in-place…

Read the full story ›
Elizabeth

LÁZARO, MOUNTAIN VIEW

62-year-old Lázaro, who lives with his wife, son and daughter-in-law in Mountain View, is doing whatever he can to survive during these challenging times. Facing unemployment as a result of the pandemic while also battling cancer has led Lázaro to seek food assistance to help make ends meet.

Lázaro has been fighting a diagnosis of stomach cancer for the past seven years and is now disabled. He gets money from his social security but says it is not enough to live on:

“We had been struggling a lot since I got very sick and I was not able to work. I only get half of my [social security benefits] and it’s not enough to pay rent, utilities and food.”

Read the full story ›
Lázaro

LIYING, SARATOGA

When the shelter-in-place order was announced, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley’s Food Connection Hotline saw an astronomical spike in traffic—there was an almost 615% increase in the number of calls received—and some of those callers, unable to leave their homes, were reaching out to see if we made deliveries.

Since March, Second Harvest has been working closely with some of our community partners to expand our delivery program. People who are homebound due to high-risk and unable to get anyone to pick up for them can have groceries delivered twice a month through our services.

One of the people who has been enjoying groceries delivered from Second Harvest is Liying, a senior in Saratoga. Before the pandemic, a staff member at her senior living facility would pick up food from a local distribution for a few homebound residents, but now anyone unable to travel to one of our sites can receive boxes of nutritious food on their doorstep. This program means Liying and her neighbors can stay safe.

Read the full story ›
Liying

TRUE, TEAM RUBICON VOLUNTEER

“[The most challenging aspect of home delivery is] the sense that the need is growing and not shrinking. We’re not catching up. We get through the week and we get everyone delivered to, but there are times when our volunteer force is a little thin.

People’s savings are dwindling if they are out of a job. The need is still growing. That’s frustrating. We’d like to see progress. You’d love to find out that that 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

ANONYMOUS SUPPORTERS

“Dear Friends,

My 90-year-old husband and I are fortunate that our financial needs are met during these times of COVID. As a child of the Great Depression, he wanted to be part of feeding today’s working families in crisis. So here is our combined stimulus check in support of your success in feeding the families of Silicon Valley.

Success to you – and stay well.”

Anonymous donor note

Give hope during the COVID-19 crisis

Donate today

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

“When you tell [clients] that you can communicate with them in their native language, you can feel that smile on their face through the phone.”

– Sgt. Yancy Abarquez, working Food Connection Hotline

“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

“By God’s grace I still have a job during this pandemic and I’m healthy. I am doing this for my daughter. I want to show God’s love to others and I want my daughter to see what to do when she grows up.”

– Rajesh, volunteer

FOR KIDS

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

– Martin, Redwood City

30% of KIDS
are at risk of hunger in Silicon Valley.

> 85,000 KIDS
are served by Second Harvest each 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

FOR STUDENTS

When Aaron went to his first food distribution at San Jose State University, he was shocked to see that hundreds of other students also needed help.

“I thought I was the only one who was food insecure, but it turns out there is quite a number of us.”

Aaron was able to land a campus job, but all of his money went to school fees. The fresh produce and nutritious groceries he received from Second Harvest made it possible for him to concentrate on his schoolwork.

“I was at a crossroad in my life. I had to figure out how to survive and actually complete my education.”

Aaron graduated from San Jose State University in December of 2019 with a degree in software engineering. He hopes to get a job that will pay enough to cover his bills and put food on the table.

Second Harvest’s school pantry program serves students at
14 COLLEGES,
including every community college in Silicon Valley.

“Having access to all of these wonderful resources allowed me to pursue my lifelong interest in astrophysics. Be proud to seek out these resources. You’re going to get to a better place, and it’s going to help you get there.”

– Asia

“You probably have more responsibilities or circumstances that you do need to worry about. Don’t let food be one of them. There is a community with you, especially if you are a student.”

– Ray

FOR SENIORS

This center is close to me. I don’t need to take a bus a long way. I just walk. Now I’m eating brown rice because of my diabetes. And the chicken, oh boy! I like to cook adobo.

– Catalina, Daly City

We distribute food through
310 PARTNERS at
1,000 SITES
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

FOR VETERANS

[Food’s] a passion for everybody. You get a good meal and you’re happy and you’re full. What else can you ask for?

– John with Sugar, Mountain View

We now serve
87 AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEXES, a 64% INCREASE
in just the last three years.

“That does change your personality, if you have food and then don’t. What Second Harvest does is good.”

– Mike

FOR FAMILIES

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.”