A new study released by Feeding America reveals that 14,570 children in Santa Cruz County—over 26% of county residents under 18 years old—are food insecure. A child is defined as being “food insecure” if he or she lives in a household that struggles to meet their basic food needs. The rate of local child food insecurity exceeds the overall food insecurity rate of 16%.
Though sobering, the data does not come as a surprise to Second Harvest Food Bank staff. “We serve over 54,000 local residents per month, through our network of 200 agencies and programs,” says Brooke Johnson, Chief Operations and Programs Officer, “and half of them are children.” Since 2008, participation in Second Harvest’s Food For Children Program, our primary food assistance and outreach program to local families, has almost tripled. “We continue to expand this program to meet the growing need in our community. Our goal is to ensure that every child grows up well-nourished.”
What can you do to participate in Hunger Action Month?
Attend a local event:
Education Days September 14-15, 2011
1:00-4:00 PM Fair Admittance $8.00 with 3 cans of food for Second Harvest
Thursday, September 15, 20011
A benefit for Food For Children (just a few tickets left)
Without the help of volunteers, many families in Santa Cruz County would go hungry. Volunteers make a real difference in the lives of so many, and they have fun doing it! Last year over 3,200 volunteers contributed the service-equivalent of more than 20 full-time employees.
Make a Contribution
Every $1 donated provides 4 healthy meals to those in need. There are over 50,000 working poor families, children and seniors in need of food each month. Half of those served are children with no other resource for a nutritious meal.
Hold Your Own Virtual Food Drive!
Plan an event and use Second Harvest’s easy online donation service.
Second Harvest Food Bank is working to improve public policy towards ending hunger and alleviating malnutrition. Contact state and elected officials who need to hear from you in support of hunger and nutrition policy.
Check out our Facebook page for regular updates on how you can make a difference!