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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

108 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

After our father died, our mother supported three young girls on a clerical salary, leaving little money for extras. She struggled to make ends meet, feeding us flour and water biscuits with a small amount of jam the night before pay-day as that was all we had. I know first hand what hunger feels like. It is important to me as an adult of means to support the tremendous efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank in our community. They strive to offer fresh, nutritional, balanced food to the working poor, the seniors and to the hungry children in our community. They have a summer food drive to help feed children not enrolled in a school lunch program. And they do it on a shoestring!



Rating: 5

Second Harvest Food Bank organisation has boosted the passion imparted in me to give back to the hungry to the highest level in every way. No other organisation, to my knowledge, is managed in the way that Second Harvest is. To be able to extend .96 out of every dollar to give back to feed the hungry is beyond what anyone could ask for. For that reason alone, I have emerged more passionate and more energized to contribute all that I can while rallying others to give generously back to the poor and to feed the hungry. I sincerely believe that Second Harvest is one of the most honorable organisations that that has risen to not only fight hunger, but will help eliminate hunger, first locally and then globally. No child, no woman and mo man should have to go without water and food. I believe these two essentials are everyone's birthright and what Second Harvest Food Bank strives for. Second Harvest will play a key role in the elimination of hunger, this is their destiny and my pledge to do my part to help them achieve this objective. With many thanks for affording me the opportunity to share my review o Second Harvest Stay Blessed! Cheers Carlos


Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently moved to the Bay Area from the east coast and at first had everything in order financially. But when my landlord decided to move unexpectedly, I had 30 days to find an inexpensive room for board in one of the most expensive areas in the country. I was already suffering from "sticker shock" every time I went to the grocery store and found my waist continuing to expand between regular visits to the McDonald's and Taco Bell value menus. Now the stress of finding a new place to rest my head while having no money for food sent me into a tailspin. There was a rocky month of homelessness and severe depression but thanks to a general hope in the future, I managed to persevere. Amid the "penny pinching" and the sleepless nights, the only thing I could count on looking forward to the next day was a hot lunch at the community center I visited during the week. Those meals that Second Harvest Food Bank provided to the community center were a godsend and were often the only meal I had during the week. I'm proud to be a "success story" as someone who is self-sufficient once more and won't have to feel the pangs of hunger before bed ever again. I'm forever grateful to the Food Bank, and the hundreds of other agencies it partners with, that made that time of trial more bearable. I encourage everyone to donate what they can whether it's $1 or $100 to help fight local hunger and provide the hope that the hungry in our community deserve. It made all the difference to me.


Client Served

Rating: 5

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.



Rating: 5

I help at one of the Food Bank's Produce Mobile sites in San Mateo County. I had one elderly woman come up to me after getting her produce; she hugged me looked deeply into my eyes and said, “god bless you”. The people who come through our lines express deep gratitude for the produce they receive. One of our volunteers shared that he needed food for his family once, and was so grateful for the help he received that he wanted to give back. He has become one of our regular volunteers, who not only helps, but does so with such warmth, and dedication. For myself, I feel honored to work alongside these volunteers.