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…

Agency Spotlight–Community Connection

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Community Connection is a non-profit mental health program of the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County and a Second Harvest Partner Agency. The program supports their clients by incorporating the Recovery Model, which helps them identify potential sources of meaning in their lives as active members of the…

cooking instruction

Food as Medicine is Catching Fire

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According to a feature which aired last night on the PBS NewsHour, more and more doctors across the country are prescribing healthy food, and more and more hospitals are building teaching kitchens for those doctors, in an effort to slow the rise of chronic diseases which are killing…

“It’s Your Neighbors”

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“It’s your neighbors,” AR Pointer told me. I had been asking AR about the organization she started in the small town of Aromas, in south Santa Cruz County, called Neighbors Helping Neighbors. It’s one of Second Harvest’s newest member agencies, and twice a month the group distributes fresh…

Taking a Bite Out of Food Waste

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Many people have long worked to raise awareness of the huge problem of food waste in the U.S., for both environmental reasons and to feed more of the people who can’t afford to purchase enough of it. Though it’s taken a lot of time, the issue of food…