Yaseth in neighborhood destroyed by fire

First Responder Yaceth Virgen assists fire victims in Sonoma

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After fires ravaged wine country earlier this fall, thousands of residents were left homeless and destitute. Though Second Harvest is 130 miles away, we found a way to help by...

2017 Holiday Food & Fund Drive Kickoff Luncheon

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The Holiday Food & Fund Drive is off to a flying start thanks to everyone who attended the Annual Kickoff Luncheon on November 2nd at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos. The drive is Second Harvest’s biggest campaign of the year, and 100% of the food and funds it…

Lakeside Organic Gardens

Farm to Family, from Apples to Zucchini

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People often ask how we get so much healthy produce, and how we manage to turn every dollar into four healthy meals. One of the answers to both questions is Farm to Family. In the old days (before the program started in the late 1990s), farmers’ surplus product…

Driscoll's berry growers

The Berry Bounty of Santa Cruz County

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One of the first things visitors to southern Santa Cruz County notice are the acres upon acres of farmland blanketing the Pajaro Valley. Drop in during the summer and you’ll see farmworkers harvesting and packing little red, pink, and blue gems—strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries—for distribution throughout the…

Youth N.O.W.

Agency Spotlight–Youth N.O.W.

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What is the best way for a hungry student to focus on studying and class activities? It’s a trick question. Studying, learning, and even paying attention are all next to impossible when you’re hungry or lacking in nutrients. That’s why Youth N.O.W., one of Second Harvest’s hundred partner…

Hurricane Harvey donations

Hurricanes, Food Banks, and the Next Earthquake

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Sometimes people aren’t aware of something until they need it. For many victims of disaster, like those of Hurricane Harvey, the aftermath revealed the existence—and critical importance—of community food banks. Ever since Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast late last month, the Houston Food Bank has taken…

Volunteer Spotlight–Efrain Cuadros

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When you volunteer in Second Harvest’s nutrition programs, you not only help the community, you become part of a community. The Nutrition Ambassadors who distribute food and produce throughout Santa Cruz County become a team of friends, and this month we’re spotlighting one of the volunteers who brings…

East Cliff Family Health Center

Agency Spotlight–East Cliff Family Health Center

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Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. –Hippocrates This quote centers on the belief that eating wholesome food is the basis for good health. This is also what encouraged the staff at East Cliff Family Health Center to begin their own pantry distribution at their…

Second Harvest in Sacramento

Big Policy Victory Against Hunger in CA

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At the federal, state, and local level, Second Harvest stays on top of the policies that affect our clients. This year, the programs designed to help them—effective and desperately needed food safety net programs—are under particularly heavy threat, especially at the federal level. But those threats are drawing…

CalFresh team

A Smarter Strategy to End Homelessness

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The path out of homelessness can be long and full of pitfalls. If you’re unemployed, you might not have a phone or any means of getting messages from job prospects. Or you might have an interview set up, but you’re a change of clothes and a haircut short…

produce bag

Inside Info: What’s in the Bag?

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You probably already know that Second Harvest gets food out to 200 organizations and programs throughout the county, to the tune of over 8 million pounds per year, but do you know what kind of foods we distribute? Top Ramen and mac and cheese because it’s cheap? Nuts…


Volunteer Spotlight–Nancy Goudarzi

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When Nancy Goudarzi closed her gift and garden shop on Freedom Blvd. several years ago, she wanted to spend the time she now had giving back to the community, and she wanted to focus on food. Why food? “Because it’s the most valuable and basic way to help,”…

Monarch Services

Partner Agency Spotlight–Monarch Services

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One in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One of our partner agencies is focused like a laser on helping these victims of domestic violence. Monarch Services in…

Massive Garage Sale Clears Closets, Fights Hunger

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Imagine holding a garage sale in your front yard. A few dozen people walk through, you lighten your load of unneeded things, and maybe you earn a few hundred bucks. Now imagine a garage sale that nets $68,000! That’s the sale Twin Lakes Church in Aptos dubs the…

CalFresh Forum

Hunger Fighters Rally and Educate for CalFresh

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Like other parts of the country, the Central Coast has poverty and social challenges, but when it comes to hunger, it stands out from most other places in one key way: we’re leaving many more resources that could relieve hunger sitting on the table. That was the backdrop…