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2016 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 65 million pounds of food to a network of more than 320 community-based organizations at more than 850 sites across both counties.

Target demographics: our neighbors who need a healthy meal

Direct beneficiaries per year: over a quarter of a million people each month

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

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.