We’ve all seen the headlines about the skyrocketing housing costs in Silicon Valley. Imagine what it must be like to get a significant rent increase when you’re already struggling just to put food on the table. That’s the situation many local families are facing as we head into the holiday season. To help feed hungry families during the holidays and all year long, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties is kicking off the largest Holiday Food and Fund Drive in the nation.
“It’s hard to believe that in this center of innovation and wealth, there is so much hunger,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
The average rent in Silicon Valley tops $2,500 a month and has risen more than 12% in the last year, which leaves less money for food each month. It takes more than $82,000 per year for a family of four to pay their bills and put food on the table.
Second Harvest needs to raise $15 million and 2 million pounds of food during the holiday campaign, which ends in January. The Food Bank raises nearly half its revenues during the holiday season.
Second Harvest Food Bank partners with nearly 330 nonprofit agencies to provide food at more than 700 sites throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, schools, and community centers, so that everyone has access to the nutritious food they need to thrive right in their own neighborhood. Second Harvest is one of only a few food banks in the nation that does not charge its partners for the food it provides, so it depends on donations. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 62 million pounds of food to the community, including more than 33 million pounds of produce. Second Harvest distributes more fresh fruits and vegetables than any other food bank in the United States.
Individuals, corporations, and organizations can help to ensure that anyone who needs a healthy meal can get one by donating to Second Harvest Food Bank or hosting a food and fund drive this holiday season. To support the campaign, visit www.shfb.org or call 866-234-3663. Anyone who needs food should call Second Harvest’s multilingual Food Connection hotline at 800-984-3663.