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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Coronavirus Relief Food Banks, Food, Food Banks & Pantries, Food Programs

Mission: Lead our community to ensure that anyone who needs a healthy meal can get one.

Results: Founded in 1974, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley is a trusted leader in ending local hunger and is one of the largest food banks in the nation. The organization distributes healthy groceries through a network of 310 partners at 1,000 sites in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Due to the prohibitively expensive cost of living in Silicon Valley, hunger is at an all-time high as more and more families are forced to sacrifice nutritious food for housing. Second Harvest is helping to keep people healthy by providing enough nutritious food for more than 58 million meals a year — half of which is fresh produce. Second Harvest also connects people to federal nutrition programs and other food resources, and advocates for anti-hunger policies on the local, state and national levels.

Target demographics: An estimated 700,000 Silicon Valley residents – 1 in 4 – are at risk of hunger.

Direct beneficiaries per year: An average of over a quarter million people every month. More than half the people we serve are seniors and children.

Geographic areas served: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County

Programs: Grocery programs, partner programs, CalFresh outreach, school and summer meal support, nutrition education and advocacy.

Community Stories

122 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

Time and again without fail, this organization is here to help people that are truly in need. They provide local support to thousands of people on a daily basis. If you are considering a donation, please do consider that Second Harvest provides food and services throughout the entire year and not only around the holiday season. They have been a crutch throughout the pandemic of 2020, but their impact has not been limited to this year. SHSV have always been a huge contributor to the area, and the pandemic has just increased the number of people in need. I cannot say it enough; this truly is a remarkable organization.

Peter Drekmeier

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family volunteered at SHFB last Saturday, and it was a wonderful experience. Very well organized, and many other enthusiastic families participated. We sorted and boxed more than 15,000 pounds of fruit for distribution. Everyone had a positive and meaningful experience. Great organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is first time we volunteer at the Food Bank as a family. My husband and I volunteer here in the past through work. The employees are super nice and friendly from beginning to end. The organizer sent details email explaining what to bring, to wear etc. She also send reminder a few days before the event. On the event day, everyone is very friendly and knowledgable about what they the FoodBank do and provide. It helps all of us understand the process, and where those food are served to. My entire family had a great time and my kids want me to sign them up for every event they can go. Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I helped set up a food distribution at a school. We turned giving out food into a celebration and community gathering. It was incredible how many personal connections were made between volunteers and patrons.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Second Harvest is one of the best local organizations one can be part of. For clients they offer a wide variety of foods with the largest offerings of fresh produce that I've seen from food banks. I work with them to connect food resources to college students experiencing food insecurity in San José; their staff are amazing, flexible and trustworthy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I think it’s amazing the work they are able to do and the sheer size and amount of people they are able to serve is astonishing. It’s great to see how they’ve also been able to loop in the local community to give back to those that are less fortunate through the variety of food distribution and education programs (not to mention how organised the entire process is!). I love knowing that we’re helping to contribute to the community education of leading healthier lives while also making sure they’re fed well. What good is empty fillers for our community’s growing population?

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SHFB makes it so easy and rewarding to volunteer. Everyone there is friendly and helpful. You leave with an understanding of the impact your volunteer time has on the community. I have volunteered on my own and with teams at work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered a dozen times at Second Harvest in San Jose, usually with a group of a dozen or ore friends, and it is always clean, safe and well-organized. every time the staff are friendly, and we get a ton of work done, sorting food or doing other tasks inside the warehouse. I highly recommend it, and it's been a few years, so it is time for me to go back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have done 2 food sorts with Second Harvest at 2 different locations and was amazed both times at the scale and orderliness of their operation. I have also worked with them to put on a food and fund drive at my company, and it was quite successful thanks to the good rapport that the folks at SHFB and I built and time and effort that both parties put in to pull it off. Second Harvest rocks!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastically run non-profit making a great impact in the local community. I was very impressed at how organized they are - felt that every minute was focused and productive. Looking forward to bringing my co-workers back!

Rachel M.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work at GoDaddy and have volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank several times over the past two years. It's a wonderful opportunity for me and my co-workers to give back and spend time helping others. The staff at Second Harvest Food bank are amazing. They're always very welcoming, caring and helpful. It also provides a nice opportunity to spend quality time out of the office with other GoDaddy employees. I'm happy to be able to contribute my time to hopefully bringing joy to others. I'll definitely be volunteering more in the future!!

1 Kooper F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I lead a team from GoDaddy that volunteers at Second Harvest every quarter. It's a great team-building time because it gives us a chance to get to know others in the office, including folks that we don't work with on a day-to-day basis. Whenever we're volunteering, everyone on the team is smiling, laughing, and having a good time. We're having fun, while also making a difference in the community. The Second Harvest team is well-organized, so we feel like our time there is productive. Second Harvest also does a great job of helping us understand the impact we've made with our volunteering, and with donations. I've brought my family along to some of our volunteer events, and now my college-age kids want to go back and volunteer at Second Harvest on their own.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Second Harvest is an incredibly well run organization! We thoroughly enjoyed our volunteer experience with them and the tour that they gave us of their facilities. It is clear how well they execute their vision each day with enthusiasm and energy. Very happy to have met the great folks at Second Harvest and look forward to collaborating with them more in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was the second time I helped volunteer at the Second Harvest food Bank. The employees are very friendly and helpful, with a lot of knowledge and experience about how Second Harvest helps our communities. I loved volunteering and am planning another volunteer day in January to help make an impact where we need it most.

Donor

Rating: 5

Second Harvest helps so many people, especially but not exclusively around the holidays. Great organization!

Sammie Candy V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you for all you do to help our community. I have seen friends and family fall on short times and you have been there for them during the times that count.

THANK YOU!

Donor

Rating: 5

Its a great way to help out the community in your area

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank delivers almost 15 tons of fresh produce to my agency at 6am *every* Monday morning. We have 50+ volunteers that come to bag it up and place in our client’s cars as they drive through from 8am-5pm, SHFB allows us to provide huge bags of fresh fruits and vegetables to almost 1000 low-income households in our community. Every Single Monday. Thank You SHFB!! ❤️

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We love doing corporate team volunteer events with SHFB!! Their staff is always so supportive, helpful and accommodating every single time we visit. Our group votes to volunteer at SHFB year after year!!

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of managing Second Harvest programs in our South Bay office for the last 8+ years. During this time, I have had the opportunity to work closely with their caring and dedicated staff to bring awareness and support to our ever expanding employee base. Due to their tireless efforts and creative thinking, our company’s giving and volunteering has multiplied by leaps and bounds to levels only imagined 8 years ago. Not only is Second Harvest an incredible organization to support, their staff is absolutely amazing!!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer at Second Harvest for 2+ years. I was amazed to learn that SHFB has MANY volunteers who have given 10-20+ years of volunteer service. Wow! I think this speaks volumes about the organization and how well it is run. The goal is to help those who need food get it, while being respectful, friendly and helpful. Everyone I’ve encountered at SHFB shows this spirit, regardless of their role. I look forward to my volunteer hours every week as a result.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I like Second Harvest Food Bank! I've volunteered there for years, and I've seen first hand how they serve the community. I really like the fact that they have a Healthy Food policy and they're really focused on providing nutritional food for their clients.

Brooke S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties for a few months and was very impressed by them! They really do care about the community and helping the people that make it up. They will not judge you on any level because they are truly there to help. I would recommend volunteering or seeking resources and help from Second Harvest! Everyone needs help at some point, so no one should ever be turned away.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Second Harvest is an incredibly well organized nonprofit that has helped our community and beyond.

Keep up the amazing work you do. I feel so fortunate to have been able to help on many occasions. Thank you for all you do to lift our community up.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had a great time as a Food Sort volunteer, met some great people, and it feels good to help people in need.

It's wonderful to see this organization is also highly rated by Charity Navigator.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer monthly at SHFB and always leave feeling better than when I arrived. We sort & box produce, label cans, sort barrel donations, or whatever is needed when we get there. When my daughter turned 14 she started volunteering with me and now has an appreciation for giving back to the community. I also volunteer for a couple partner agencies so I see where boxes of produce end up as it's repacked for distribution or prepared as a meal. When I see where this food ends up, I fully appreciate the broad impact of SHFB. It's been at least 8 years since I started volunteering at SHFB and I hope to continue for many more.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am both a donor and volunteer with Second Harvest. I love coordinating members of my club to come work at Second Harvest on a Saturday morning. We get pretty dirty sorting cans and filling boxes, but we leave with such satisfaction knowing that our work will help people in our community. I also coordinate food donations at the holidays, as well as personally donating monthly. It's important to me that Second Harvest works locally in my community, helping those in need.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have supported Second Harvest financially for many years. In the last couple of years I've added volunteering at their site doing food distribution: sorting cans and bagging goods. I always leave the Second Harvest site feeling wonderful, I know I've made a difference in someone's life - the work is so direct to the needs of my community! The work is easy and fun. I coordinate volunteer work for my local democratic club and we try to be at Second Harvest a couple times a year. What I personally like best about Second Harvest is how their work is used in my local community. Rita, the organizer at Second Harvest in San Carlos, always starts the Saturday morning food sorts by telling the volunteers where the food is going and how much our work counts. We do the work that would cost this organization thousands of dollars a year (actually I think it's much, much more than that, more like $1m/year). As a financial supporter too, I know that my money is used well, with the majority going towards providing food in my community. What I don't see is wasteful mail with mailing labels, etc. that I receive from so many other groups. Second Harvest is one of the main groups I support each year and I highly recommend them to my family and friends.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank is such a wonderful place to be at. Great opportunities to volunteer and get food. The staff is so kind hearted and always more than happy to help with whatever is needed.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank reaches out to the community to make sure that food is available to all that are hungry. They reach into the communities of both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. They also link agencies with disaster preparedness. I have worked with them through 3 agencies. I do not have pictures or video, but I am honored to be even acquainted with them.
Bonnie Miller

1 Kassundra R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

SHFB is a great i have been on both sides of the table being the person in need of the assistance and was able to receive fresh produce and other grocery needs with out feeling like i was getting some left overs that no one else wanted and was able to present them to my family and feel proud. Then in my employment when i found that we worked with SHFB and and I was going to be able to present these same fresh items to my clients and they appreciated them it was a good feeling for me and my team of coworkers good job SHFB keep up the great work

1 John409

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a retired Parole Agent, I have often referred my parolees and their families to the Second Harvest Food Bank for resources.
Even my own mother, who lives on a modest income, swears by and partakes in the Brown Bag for Seniors and the discounted hot meals at the Senior Center in East Palo Alto, CA. The Second Harvest Food Bank has enhanced the quality of life of Seniors and families in San Mateo & Santa Clara counties.

1 John408

Client Served

Rating: 5

A great non profit with a great cause helping people that can really use a boost.

Mary470

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have never worked with a non-profit like Second Harvest before. They truly care about the community and it's needs. Our families receive so much help from Second Harvest. Their employees are exceptionally helpful and good-hearted.

Joe_95

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having both volunteered and been a consumer at SHFB I would like to say it is one of the most vital and humane non-profits out there. I want to mention expressly, the local harvest of neighborhood fruit trees and say that this is some of the healthiest and best-tasting food I have encountered at any place. Volunteers are well-supervised and rewarded, and the staff is caring, professional, and helpful at every turn, including referrals to other resources above and beyond the call of their duties. They are superb in every way.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered once a week at SHFB Cypress location for 9 months now. I work at the reception desk, where I get a bird's eye view of all the activities that go on here. I get to meet SHFB Staff, Donors, Volunteers, and Clients. And they're all wonderful people. It is very gratifying to be a small part of this great organization which is helping SO many in our community who don't have enough food.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Very friendly staff. Always great selection of food. Easy to walk out with a smile on your face. Everyone there seems passionate about their work and is very genuine!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

WHEN I'VE NEED SOME ASSISTANCE WITH GROCERIES BECAUSE I WAS HUNGRY THEY HELPED WITH FOOD WHICH I APPRECIATE VERY MUCH

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked at Second Harvest for over 32 years. I appreciate working at an organization with a mission to end hunger and has a heart.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

They are the best! I would recommend this food bank to everyone. Thanks for being so awesome!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is so amazing and inspiring! Food is a right not a privilege and the work they do to help feed the community with nutritious sustenance is awe-inspiring!

1 Lydia15

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has been contributing to and volunteering at the Second Harvest Food Bank for 2 years. We are incredibly impressed with the organization. Not only is Kathy Jackson a fantastic leader, but she has built a team of passionate and engaged staff. When we give to Second Harvest, we know that we are making a direct and positive impact on the health and happiness of families in our community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

VERY disappointing. We went to discuss their outreach with families and they spent the majority of the time promoting the local "talent" industry people in music and fashion than they did discussing the needs of low income and homeless people in the area who get a tax write off to help. VERY DISAPPOINTING. Many lovely charities in the area that are far more interesting in reaching and helping those who struggle.

Comments ( 1 )

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msilva 11/03/2015

This appears to be a review for a different Second Harvest Food Bank. We are a California-based food bank and do not host events promoting local music and fashion.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough great things about Second Harvest Food Bank! The staff is extremely friendly, the food they supply to clients is fresh and nutritious, and they truly make each dollar count. The volunteer opportunities are great team-building events for groups and they make you feel like your efforts are truly valuable. The food bank also works hard to create partnerships throughout the community and engage every stakeholder in an attempt to not only provide food for every person who needs it but to create systemic change.

Second Harvest is a model that other food banks across the country should be looking to emulate in terms of food quality, efficiency of distribution and general customer service to the public.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been donating to Second Harvest Food Bank for years, and we are consistently impressed by the thoughtful and efficient work that they do to deliver healthy and nutritious food to families in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with a number of non-profits as a donor and board member. Though I'm not on the board at SHFB, I appreciate how well run the organization is and how successful they execute on their mission. I always know that a donation to SHFB will be put to good use feeding people in need with no waste or inefficiency. Easiest check I write each year.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

i have volunteered sorting food or running food drives for the past 11 years, and enjoyed my experience with Second harvest food bank. Then this year I was even more blessed to have the opportunity to work within the organization for 9 months supporting the community relations and events department. I saw that their employee's truly love what they do by helping the community and people in need. they are always looking to spread the word to help others and it's contagious. What a great organization to have in our area.

Donor

Rating: 5

For the last four years, we have helped fund SHFB's SNAP program with great results. I feel very fortunate to work with such terrific partners -- responsive, innovative and transparent.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've worked with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties for more than 10 years. I've run company food drives, volunteer days, and distributed food. Nobody should go hungry in Silicon Valley, and Second Harvest is making that goal a reality.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We just signed up for a food drive and cannot wait to get our barrels. Our staff is so excited to work with Second Harvest and we are looking forward to giving back to our community. We are thankful to have such a trusted organization as SHFB to work with to help us all when we need it.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

SHFB is the best run non-profit that I have ever seen. The leadership team makes sure that every dollar counts and they are driven to make the meals healthy. The team also has an incredible ability to interact well with clients, donors, farmers and volunteers while maintaining a positive attitude. It feels great to give to SHFB - it matters!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Remarkable leadership and execution of mission. Excellent brand awareness because of its stellar work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love working with the staff at SHFB!! I get to plan lots of last minute community sharing activities and I know that I can always count on SHFB to accommodate my groups whether they are big or small. Everyone always leaves there feeling confident that we've made a difference!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Second Harvest Bing Center for about three years, first as a volunteer and then as a team leader. It has been a very enlightening and inspiring experience. The staff is first rate; creating a positive and friendly environment for the volunteers while educating them about the unbelievable number of hungry people serviced by Second Harvest. They consistently provide all the help and support we team leaders need to do our jobs, which ensures that the volunteers have a very positive experience. Second Harvest is the best.

1 Jane72

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being as a volunteer @ the San Carlos location in the last 5 years, I never realized how much I helped with the people in needs. I really enjoy being there and my heart is free with joy everytime I help. :)

Kacy M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started out as a volunteer and just recently became a team leader...I've done a great deal of volunteering in my lifetime and this is the best run, most rewarding non-profit that I have encountered. The work to be done is so well organized and the people so friendly and fun that the time flies by. Every time I have worked at SHFB I come away feeling that I have done something worthwhile and that my time and effort has been appreciated.

Flavia F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The beauty of Second Harvest is in its simplicity and the basic ingredients of its business model. It addresses a most basic need of food for disadvantaged folks. Besides relying on the generosity of the public at large for donations, it also connects companies to its endeavors by enlisting their support for their food transportation needs. And it engages people in their cause by asking their help to organize and screen the food in preparation for delivery. By casting such a wide net of participation in our community, they accomplish their objective and they educate and connect a wide group of people about the issue of those living around us that don't have enough to eat. And in no time at all, a bunch of volunteers can make a difference. It is a great experience to see what a bunch of humans can accomplish in the space of three hours.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a year of volunteering with the food back of San Mateo second harvest
I worked up. To being a team leader and was welcomed from the beginning
As a value for their effort. I was amazed over the months
I was there how many people I met and the glow that it put on
Peoples faces. from community service workers to local regular volunteers
We were all doing something importent something that we believed
In and knew that people were being fed because
We cared. I have a physical limitation but they welcomed
Me and used me to help others. Rita and the others were good freinds
While I was there. Defiantly the best volunteer
Experience possible.
Erik McCready
Egm@sonic.net

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer team leader in San Carlos for almost 5 years. I love working with Rita, Rudy and the other team leaders. We try to make it a fun environment so the volunteers have a great experience and want to come back. Everyone truly cares about each other, the volunteers and the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the San Carlos location for more than 7 years as a team leader. The employees are easy to work with, the tasks are always changing but easy to follow and explain to other volunteers. I've learned much more about food insecurity in a supposedly wealthy area and love to bring new volunteers to a fun and rewarding organization and to help explain the Food Bank's mission when I'm out in the community with other non-profits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering here is very easy to do as the tasks are not difficult to complete. The staff and other volunteers are very friendly and helpful. This is a great place to do work that you know will benefit others and that's a really good feeling!

Marietta D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had always wanted to volunteer at Second Harvest and finally got the opportunity to do so with current company I am contracting with. From the moment our small group entered their building to begin volunteering, we were greeted warmly and given instructions. We were then led to area to help sort and package food. The coordinator here was very friendly and informative. We all got busy and the time flew by! Afterwards we all felt a great feeling of accomplishment and hope to return again next quarter or sooner if possible! Thanks for allowing us to help out!

Suzanne58

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was very easy to find a day to volunteer and fun to work with other volunteers sorting and packing apples. It was quick and yet so rewarding!

Diana63

Donor

Rating: 5

They are a crucial safety net for those who are food insecure, most importantly in the summer months when schools are closed. As a donor they have been responsive to any questions and concerns. They do a good job with using social media to promote their purposes.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a high powered executive that always wanted to volunteer. When a break in my career allowed me to join the Second Harvest Brown Bag program, I seriously underestimated what it would mean to me personally. The professionalism of the Second Harvest staff is unmatched in Silicon Valley. The dedication and camaraderie of volunteers forms life-long friendships. Most important is the consistent, quality service provided to the members of the Brown Bag program. Our particular site provided approx. 20 lbs. of healthy food to over 100 low income seniors every week! Thank you Second Harvest.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for over 10 years as the Site Chair for the Brown Bag Program.
It has been very rewarding.
Second Harvest Food Bank staff provide the tools and support for the volunteers.
It is a great program for the community.