When you drive by Second Harvest Food bank it amazes you to think that this modest warehouse serves the city of San Jose. There are almost a million people in this city and I am proud to be one of the volunteers at Second Harvest. I have been volunteering through various employers over the years and have always been committed to contribute my time and donations as there is a lot of honest volunteers who know the value of their time when they come to assist.
I have volunteered at Second Harvest for several years and became aware of how prevalent hunger was in such a relatively affluent county. Silicon Valley can be a tough place to live when jobs are scarce. This organization is highly efficient, giving back 95% directly to the community! They do a wonderful job of utilizing volunteers in a fun and efficient way while focusing on the vision of eliminating hunger in the community.
I have been an intern for Second Harvest Food Bank for two non consecutive years and a volunteer at the warehouse with my fellow members from Key Club (another non profit organization). Michelle Berg has been an excellent mentor for me in being able to actively participate in the food bank in any way I can. From researching for possible grants for the Food Bank to writing up blogs about the food bank, I can honestly say that my experience at the food bank has not only been welcoming but genuine. The people serving their time are sympathetic, kind, and responsible. I enjoy meeting the various employers because they always have a smile on their face. I couldn't have asked for a better environment to serve my time as an intern and volunteer. The experience of actually helping the community is shown through the work that the employers provide for the food bank.
As a donor, we just wanted signage that said "part of these foods were funded by an Anonymous Taiwanese-American Atheist and Buddhist" They said no. so we are giving our money elsewhere. What is the difference between acknowledging a donation from someone whose name is obviously of an ethnicity and who is known in the area for a certain religion and our request? They said it would be a slippery slope. I said, "I think this is like the journalism standard for pornography? You know it when you see it. and this is not offensive. it's simply a statement of fact."
I toured the San Mateo warehouse and saw how the goods get processed and allocated to local nonprofits. I saw volunteers working to sort the produce. I heard about their efforts to get more fresh produce. Me and my kids went door to door to collect canned goods last winter.
I have been a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank in San Carlos since 1990. I'm a Volunteer Team Leader and help volunteers and staff during community food sorts. The food bank staff values its volunteers. Volunteers help get donated food sorted and boxed so community agencies can pick up the food and distribute to those people who are hungry in our community. I love working with volunteers and educating them about the giving help to those who need it.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.