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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Second Harvest of Silicon Valley

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: 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

121 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

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!!

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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