Over 300 people from all walks of life attended Second Harvest’s Holiday Food Drive Kickoff Luncheon on November 12th at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz. They were there to network and share ideas for helping us reach our goal of raising 3.5 million meals this holiday season. It was great to see everyone and experience their enthusiasm for helping the less fortunate in our community.
All of the food and funds raised during the Holiday Food Drive go directly to our network of 200 agencies and programs for the sole purpose of providing healthy food to hungry people in Santa Cruz County during the winter months, when less work and higher utility bills increase hardship.
As we celebrate our own good fortune this holiday season, taking some time to help the needy in our community is the best gift we can give ourselves. It’s an opportunity to engage kids in a meaningful activity during the holidays, and to connect with friends, neighbors and co-workers to help others.
It can be as simple as supporting the efforts of a local business by making a donation at the register, or dropping off non-perishable food in the Second Harvest barrels at holiday events, in schools, fire stations, and stores throughout the County. Rummage sales, bake sales and raffles are great ways to get everyone involved. Let your own creativity be your guide. You can order barrels, buckets and other promotional items here.
Guest speakers at the luncheon shared what they have done to make good things happen.
Second Harvest Board Member, Tim Carl and his wife, Joan Bosworth, created a fun way to get together with neighbors with “Wine’ing for Food.” They raised 10,000 meals last year and have plans to do it again.
Read more here.
Sarah Owens of New Leaf Community Markets spoke about the various activities the store has put in place to raise food and funds, including donations at the register with a prize for the cashier who raises the most money; special events, and MBA Poultry’s Smart Giving program. For every ten pounds of air-chilled Smart Chicken bought by New Leaf customers in November, one pound will be donated to Second Harvest.
Read more here.
Scott Hamby from the Congregational Church of Soquel talked about their event: A Taste of Soquel, Food and Music for the Common Good, co-sponsored by the Capitola/Soquel Chamber of Commerce. The event raised 35,200 meals this year, bringing their five year total to 140,000 healthy meals for people in need.
Read more here.
Willy King of Boardwalk Bowl told attendees about Strike Out Hunger. Participants can bring in a can of food and bowl a game for free. A $5 donation also earns a free game, and a donation of $100 gets 25 free game passes for use during future visits. Last year, the event raised over 4,000 pounds of food. This year the goal is 6,000 pounds.
Read more here.
Hilary Bryant, Mayor of Santa Cruz, put out a heartfelt request for people to register for the Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. The event, now in its 9th year, has raised over $3M for charity since its inception. With Plantronics’ sponsorship this year, 100% of Santa Cruz County’s registration fees will go directly toward our 2013 Holiday Food Drive goal of 3.5 million meals.
We must register 1,000 runners to secure our inclusion in this major source of funding for years to come.
Whether you run or not, you can help by registering for the race:
• 1,000 registrations secures inclusion in future races.
• Each registration in Santa Cruz zip code provides 160 healthy meals for hungry families in Santa Cruz County.
Thanks to Holiday Food Drive Co-Chairs, Ken Kannappan, CEO Plantronics, and Sarah Latham, UCSC Vice Chancellor of Business & Administrative Services for their inspiring words and commitment to making this year’s drive a success.
And speaking of inspiration, thanks to Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz for his tireless efforts to help the less fortunate in our community.
Thank you to everyone who attended and to everyone who contributes to the Holiday Food Drive in any way. You are making a difference!
Our sponsors help in so many ways. They include:
Presenting Sponsor: Bay Federal Credit Union
Champion Sponsors: Aarons, Cilantro’s, Dominican Hospital, El Palomar, Good Times, KDON, KION, K-OCEAN, KTOM, La Preciosa, Morgan Stanley, PG&E, Plantronics, Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Santa Cruz Sentinel, Seagate Technology,Wells Fargo Bank
Ambassador Sponsors: Alexis Party Rental, Central California Alliance for Health, Chevy of Watsonville, Deluxe Foods, New Leaf Markets, Times Publishing, Union Bank
Special thanks to Crown Catering, Kitayama Brothers, Freedom Bakery, Seaside Company.
Don’t forget, you are always welcome to visit the warehouse for a tour. Meet some of the great people who work so hard to raise and distribute over eight million pounds of food annually.
View holiday events that are raising food/funds for the Holiday Food Drive here.