All the barrels have been picked up and weighed and the cash donations tabulated: the truly astounding grand total for the 2011 Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food Drive is just over 2.7 million pounds of food and cash equivalent! That’s well over our goal of 2.5M and a wonderful example of just how dedicated our community is to providing healthy food to hungry people.
The announcement was made during a special event at Michael’s on Main in Soquel. Thanks so much to Second Harvest board members, Phil Dundas and Jeremy Lezin, for putting on this event. Willy Elliott-McCrea, Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest along with Holiday Food Drive Co-Chairs, Pastor Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church and Ryan Coonerty, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz, were on hand for the big reveal. A hush went over the crowd as Pastor Rene quietly said that we didn’t make the 2.5M goal. Cheers went up when he then went on to explain that we had actually exceeded it—collecting over 2.7M pounds.
Every pound raised will be distributed by Second Harvest’s network of over 200 local agencies and programs and their 3,000 volunteers. Together, these agencies provide food and hope to 50,000 Santa Cruz County residents each month, half of whom are kids.
There was no end to the amount of activity and creativity used to raise food and funds this year—from holiday parties and in-store events, to kids selling homemade crafts—the compassion of our community came through loud and clear on every level. “I was concerned about our ability to meet our increased goal this year and was truly overwhelmed when I found out the total raised by our community,” said Elliott-McCrea. “You are all hunger fighters!”
We invite everyone to join Second Harvest for our Annual Awards Dinner on March 7th at the University Business Park in Santa Cruz (former Wrigley Building). We’ll be honoring our community heroes and 2012 Hunger Fighters of the Year at this fun community event. Seats are limited. Please purchase tickets by February 24th.