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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

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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: We are the largest nonprofit provider of food in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties; nearly 1 in 10 people in our region receives some of their food from Second Harvest Food Bank. Last year, we provided more than 66 million pounds of food to a network of 300 community-based organizations at 905 sites across both counties.

Target demographics: Our neighbors who need a healthy meal

Direct beneficiaries per year: An average of more than 257,000 people each month. More than half the people we serve are seniors and children.

Geographic areas served: Santa Clara County, San Mateo County

Programs: Food Connection, Kids NOW (Nutrition on Weekends), Family Harvest, Operation Brown Bag for seniors, Mobile Pantry, Produce Mobile, Food Stamp Outreach, Nutrition Education, and our Partner Agencies program

Community Stories

109 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank came to my attention a few years ago. I am continually in awe of their mission, how incredibly hard they work, and how effectively they produce results. Second Harvest feeds large numbers of people - adults and children - who have nowhere else to go, and those numbers are growing substantially every year. Second Harvest gives people more than food; they give them a leg up, hope, and a way to climb out of an impossible life situation- not enough to eat.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for the past 3 years. I started out as a member, but when hearing that one of the volunteers had passed away, I jumped right in. Seeing the happy faces of the Senior Citizens that we help each week is amazing. They all know me and I spend half my time getting hugs. This is the greatest reward of all for being a member of Second Harvest Brown Bag Program. I never knew being retired could be so rewarding.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been volunteering for over 7 years, 5 of those as site chairs for the Brown Bag Program.

Our relationship with the staff at SHFB has been exceptional. They respond to our needs in a timely manner and are genuine in their appreciation of the work done by all the volunteers.

The camaraderie we feel working with the volunteers and clients at our site make it a very worthwhile experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As Onsite Coordinator of United American Banks' Community Food and Fund Drive since Janaury 2012, It's been my honor and pleasure to work with the fantiastic nonprofit, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Jennie Nguyenly, SHFB Coordinator, and her staff are exceptionally committeed to serving needy families up an down the peninsula! I have no hesitation in recommedning SHFB of Santa Clara & San Mateo Counties to the fullest and look forward to working with them for years to come!

Sincerely,
Marcie Mitchell
Executive Administrative Assistant
United American Bank

Barbara154

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most effective organizations in feeding the hungry in Silicon Valley. Its operations are efficient, and one of my husband's and my criteria for donation involves the percentage of money donated that actually goes to HELP people, as opposed to being gobbled up by administrative costs.

I hope Second Harvest continues to be funded for a very long time. If it weren't here, many people who need assistance would not be able to get it.

--Barbara Saxton

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank was nothing short of exceptional. Last summer, I worked at Second Harvest through the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University to help connect eligible residents to the CalFresh (food stamp) program from both a case management and marketing perspective. It was during my fellowship that I witnessed that the Food Bank certainly exceeds expectations when it comes to meeting the needs of hungry residents in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. But what intrigued me the most was the empathy and dedication to the community that each and every staff member exuded. Never have I seen a group of more hard-working individuals who are united by a common goal.

Amy_124

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Second Harvest is, I believe, the biggest and possibly the only food bank on the peninsula. The amount of food they provide and the number of people they provide it to is/are phenomenal . I called the San Carlos location to see about volunteering 2 years ago, and was immediately welcomed and given things to do that I feel allow me to make a meaningful difference there. They are very flexible about having volunteers work in departments and on projects that feel like the best fit to them. And you don't feel like "just a volunteer"-- you feel like a part of the organization. The staff and the other regular volunteers are across the board nice, friendly, hard-working, smart and dedicated. Volunteers are essential to keeping things going at Second Harvest, because they are very lean in terms of employees.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with SHFB for over 10 years and continue to do so because of many reasons. First, the staff at SHFB really goes all out with the volunteers and genuinely cares about us and appreciates what we do. They bend over backwards to make sure we are happy there. I actually feel bad when I cannot get there on my days of volunteering. And I can honestly say some of the staff are now my friends. We have done things outside of SHFB. Second, I just believe wholeheartedly that SHFB is really helping our community. Their employees believe in the cause too. The employees are passionate about what they do and strive to make each person in need of food get a meal. My volunteering at SHFB has enriched my life and my children's life (they have volunteered there too). I would highly encourage anyone to volunteer at SHFB.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to bring my team back to Second Harvest again and again, and have been doing so for over 10 years. It is fabulous to be able to work with an organization that helps people directly, in our own community. To be face-to-face with the fact that hunger is an issue in a community like Silicon Valley is eye-opening, and we are truly blessed to be able to give back in a meaningful way, in just one morning or afternoon! The staff is amazing, they keep us happy and motivated, and it never hurts that they spur on a little "internal competition" between the Cisco teams to see who can sort and box the most food! It is a very fun teambuilding experience which allows you to get to know your teammates outside of the traditional work environment, and I have appreciated that greatly over the years. And, we all leave very happy knowing that we've done the community a lot of good in the process!