8th Annual Nutrition Summit: From the Ground Up

Second Harvest Food Bank held its 8th Annual Agency Nutrition Summit on October 21st at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos. Every year, the meeting provides a forum for members of our agency network to learn and exchange ideas in an atmosphere of fellowship.

Participants range from small non-profits providing 20 meals per day, to large pantries preparing up to 500 meals every weekend. The variety of people that attend this event help put a face on hunger in our community. It is enlightening to hear the stories of the many volunteers that distribute food and prepare meals for people in need, many of whom have been doing this work for decades. The details of menu planning, knowing how much food you can buy with your budget, whether or not you have the capacity to safely store perishable products, managing the challenges of serving people with mental illness—these are just some of the issues that our agencies deal with on a daily basis.

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L-R, Second Harvest’s Danny Robles, Volunteer Services Manager, Grace Galvan, Director of Agency Network Services, Teresa Moran, Directory of Community Programs, Willy Elliott-McCrea, Executive Director, Ana Melgoza, Agency Relations Manager, Dave DeBoer, Board of Trustees Treasurer, Brooke Johnson, Chief Operations and Programs Officer

Second Harvest Executive Director, Willy Elliott-McCrea, expanded on the theme of this year’s meeting, “From the Ground Up,” as he welcomed the group. “Our theme is a recognition that most of the solutions to the problems we see all around us will be the solutions that we ourselves create in our own neighborhoods to build healthy and sustainable communities.”

“We are starting to realize that the problem we are trying to address has become deeper and more systemic,” he continued. “We must explore new approaches and collective action to attack the root causes of hunger and identify promising practices to build a healthier and more vibrant community. We must all become more powerful catalysts for systemic change. I am truly excited about the extraordinary opportunities that are emerging from our work together to rebuild our communities and neighborhoods from the ground up.”

For the rest of the morning, attendees could choose from a variety of workshops, covering such topics as food safety, grant writing, advocacy and community gardens. The workshop sessions were followed by a healthy lunch buffet and networking.

Performance Foodservice Ledyard Named 2013 Food Donor of the Year

Performance Foodservice Ledyard was presented with Proclamations from several elected officials for their dedication to collaborating with the food bank to prevent food waste, while providing nutritious foods to local households in need. A Santa Cruz-based distributor of food, equipment and supplies specializing in service to independent restaurants in the Monterey and San Francisco Bay Areas, the company employs over 100 people at their warehouse and office complex in Live Oak.

Since 2001, the company has donated more than .5M pounds of food, much of it proteins and dairy products that are greatly appreciated by our member agencies. On hand to accept the award on behalf of Ledyard, Inventory Control Manager Bill Harvey said, “Second Harvest’s service is a major reason we work with them. Their drivers are friendly and punctual when making donation pick-ups and we can donate in confidence knowing that Second Harvest has product inspection processes in place.”


Colin Roberson, Remy Sablan and Bill Harvey from Performance Foodservice Ledyard receive Proclamation from Carina Chavez, Deputy District Director for Representative Sam Farr (L-R)

After the presentation, a panel discussion kept the focus on food safety. Facilitated by Brooke Johnson, Chief Operations and Programs Officer for Second Harvest, the panel included Al Richard from Holy Cross Pantry, Ben Arias from Women’s Crisis Support, Daniel Burns from Feeding the Spirit, and Lisa Bautista from Transition House – Encompass. They discussed the importance of ensuring all volunteers comply with food safety guidelines and their processes for doing so.

Agency members take home living centerpieces provided by Upstarts Organic Seedlings

Agency members take home living centerpieces provided by Upstarts Organic Seedlings

Thank you to all our presenters, panelists and event sponsors: New Leaf Community Markets and Upstarts Organic Seedlings.

Special thanks to Twin Lakes Church for hosting this event.

View a complete list of our agencies here.


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