HFD Kickoff Shows There are Lots of Ways to Help

It’s a safe bet that everyone left last week’s Holiday Food Drive Kickoff luncheon at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz with more than a little inspiration and lots of great ideas for helping us raise 2.5 million pounds of food this holiday season.

Time to get fired up!

All food and funds raised during the Holiday Food Drive will be used to purchase the food that Second Harvest procures, and that our network of 200 agencies and programs distributes throughout Santa Cruz County in the winter months.

Stories shared at the event ranged from six-year-old Travis raising hundreds of dollars by going door-to-door in his neighborhood selling homemade kites, to St. Francis High School in Watsonville stepping up to a huge goal, to private parties and community fund-raising events. We’re always astounded by the creativity and desire to make a difference that embodies this amazing community of ours.

Travis' kites quickly sell out

Second Harvest’s Chief Development Officer, Danny Keith, led more than 350 “students” through Food Drive 101. Lesson plans were presented by Kristine Ronzano, Wells Fargo Bank, John Mareineke of St. Francis High School, Kevin and Brian Dueck from Yogurtland, and Melissa Conville, Whole Foods Market.

Danny Keith & Jeremy Lezin begin class

Holiday Food Drive Co-Chairs, Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church and Ryan Coonerty, Mayor, City of Santa Cruz were on hand to share stories and acknowledge generous donations made by:

Granite Construction $2,500

Palo Alto Medical Foundation $16,500

Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary $5,000

Ryan Coonerty accepts check from PAMF

In his closing remarks, Willy Elliot-McCrea, Second Harvest’s Chief Executive Officer, talked about the fact that there are more families than ever before that are struggling to put food on the table due to employment, housing and health issues.

The Holiday Food Drive goal is up 14% over last year to meet this growing need. Our network of agencies and programs are serving 38% more families, seniors, and children than 2008, up from 40,000 to 55,000 people each month.

Every action and every dollar raised makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need. Working together, we can build a stronger community.

There are lots of ways to get involved.

To order materials: Complete and submit the participation form

To set up a virtual fund drive (givezooks)

Questions: Bly Morales, 831-722-7110, x 226, bly@thefoodbank.org

Special thanks to:

Presenting Sponsor, Bay Federal Credit Union

Food Champions: Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz Sentinel, PG&E, Rabobank, Central California Alliance For Health, Wells Fargo, KION 1460, 92.7 KTOM, La Preciosa, KDON 102.5, 105.1 K-Ocean

Grind Out Hunger Sponsors: Whole Foods Market, Jimbo Phillips, Santa Cruz Skate Shop, 102.5 KDON, 3D Construction

Thanks also to everyone who contributed to the event:

Alexis Party Rentals, Freedom Bakery, Santa Cruz Seaside Company, Nature First, Bed & Biscuits

Posted in FoodBank Blog

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