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Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties
October 16, 2008

As a Parent Involvement and Leadership Facilitator at Hoover School in Redwood City, it's my role to facilitate meaningful opportunities for parents to be involved in the their child's education as well as in the community, while at the same time developing and/or increasing their leadership skills. I remember being very excited about the Second Harvest Produce Mobile being brought to our school. Why would I pass up the opportunity to have such a valuable and necessary service like this, considering the fact that most of the K-8 students at Hoover receive free or reduced lunch because of their low income status. Initially, I only thought about the impact to our school--Llittle did I realize that it was going to impact the entire community. We started off barely trying to get a list of 80 names and now, we have a little over 500! Of course, not all those people attend every month, but knowing that over time, at least 500 people have been served in this community, is something to be proud of! I think that initially people/organizations may stray away from brining in a service such as this simply because of the amount of work you need to put into making it successful. This shouldn't be an obstacle. At Hoover, I have managed to maintain a group of volunteer parents, mostly all women, who have come to lead and manage the drive every month. I have noticed how much some of these mom's have grown in their leadership abilities and that their confidence has soared. This drive has strengthened our families, our school, our community and our relationships with one another. When members of the Hoover community come into the school and see that it's their own neighbors who are helping to provide this service, it makes a huge difference on the experience. There's a great level of comfort and even a sense of camaraderie amongst one another. No one is here to judge or be judged; everyone is here to simply work together and help one another out. I can reassure you that if the parents weren't running the show, this drive wouldn't be as successful as it is now. As hard to believe as it may be, I actually look forward to this every fourth Friday of the month and I think it's because it feels like Thanksgiving Day each time. The Produce Mobile does more than provide fruits and vegetables to households all over the county--it provides us with a sense of community that these days, can be very hard to find.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the quality of my work, the role of the parent volunteers, the families of the school, and all those from the community whose lives are being touched.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do exactly what they're doing now--feeding those in need!

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the sense of community that it brings and the value that it places on improving the livelihood of others.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always willing to lend a helping hand.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

feed even more needy families and individuals throughout the county and provide all their programs throughout the area.

Ways to make it better...

I was able to outreach to even more members of the community.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting the word out about the different services that it provides to organizations and schools in the community and having enough funds to serve even more as well as expand their programming.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I coordinate the Produce Mobile at our school with parent volunteers.