Second Harvest’s programs are pioneers of healthy food distribution, outreach programs and nutrition education.
Second Harvest is a member of Go for Health! and as such, promotes the 52-10 program for improved awareness of healthy habits in our kids. Click to learn more
Click here for more information on how we operate.
* Read a summary of the 2010 Hunger in America report.
* Second Harvest staffers have been taking part in nutrition education classes, too! A recent challenge pushed them to compete for the best white bean recipe. Download the winning recipes here.
* The USDA released its 2008 study of food insecurity. Download here.
Second Harvest’s member agencies have missions as diverse as homeless outreach to teen pregnancy prevention among high-risk youth. They depend on us to provide food for their clients so that they can concentrate on their main missions. We depend on them to help widen the net of food distribution to a more diverse range of low-income families, children, and seniors.
Food Bytes is a monthly newsletter for agencies. You can download the latest version as a PDF file here.
Become a Member Agency
Does your agency need a supply of food to feed the low-income clients that access your services? Click here to learn how to become a Second Harvest Member Agency.
Second Harvest is proud to partner with a wide range of community programs, agencies, and faith-based organizations to provide food. Click here to see a list of our current Member Agencies.
Their Story is Our Story
Get an in-depth look at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, one of our member agencies:
The Front Lines of the Battle Against Hunger:
Second Harvest & Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes
Collaboration is essential to our work at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry and Kitchen, because we are a small agency with a big mission. We collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank, our major partner in our hunger relief efforts, to ensure that the emergency and daily food needs of all community residents are met.
Each weekday, Second Harvest’s Community Food Hotline refers families and individuals in need of food assistance to our pantry and lunch programs. Over the course of the year, the Hotline refers over 28% of all the calls they receive directly to us, making Loaves and Fishes the largest emergency food responder in Santa Cruz County.
Many of the clients referred to us by the Hotline are parents, struggling to provide for themselves and their children. Juliana and Jorge*, who were recently referred to us by the Hotline, are a young, monolingual Spanish-speaking couple who are currently homeless. Juliana is expecting their child and is eight months pregnant. They came to Loaves and Fishes feeling lost and bewildered. They received groceries from our pantry and stayed to have a hot lunch, receiving compassionate service from our staff.
Laura*, another client recently referred by the Hotline, is also facing the challenge of homelessness. She and her four children have been staying with a succession of friends and relatives to stay off the street. She came to Loaves and Fishes desperate for food to feed her children. She was so appreciative of our assistance. She was particularly pleased that we were able to provide her with fresh produce to provide her growing children the healthy nourishment they need.
Second Harvest supplies the majority of the food that we provide to hungry, low-income local residents through our pantry and lunch programs, which operate five days a week, year-round. They provide us with a good variety of food items, including fresh produce, enabling us to distribute well-balanced bags of groceries and to serve nutritious, balanced meals at a very reduced cost.
Our partnership with Second Harvest is multi-faceted, also including a monthly on-site Food For Children distribution, monthly food stamp application assistance outreach to our lunch clients, and collaboration in providing bilingual nutrition education to Loaves and Fishes clients.
Through our partnership with Second Harvest, we are able to provide quality food and services to our clients on a very modest budget, ensuring that local low-income families–such as Juliana, Jorge and Laura–have the support they need to manage the difficult times in their lives.
*Client names have been changed
Second Harvest Food Bank is a non-profit membership-based co-operative comprised of 200 community relief agencies and programs. We provide more than 7 million pounds of food per year to local social service organizations, and they pay, on average, four cents per pound for the food they acquire. By using Second Harvest to reduce food costs, these agencies are better able to devote more resources to their primary missions, such as daycare for homeless children, domestic abuse recovery and support for the elderly.
Our Agency Delivery Program saves time and money for the member agencies of Second Harvest Food Bank. Member agencies can now order the type and quantity of food needed at their sites. Second Harvest delivers the food, much of it perishable fruits and vegetables, in a refrigerated truck. This allows Second Harvest to increase the amount of fresh produce distributed, and help reduce the amount of perishable food that spoils at our warehouse.
To get more information about how your agency can obtain food from Second Harvest, click here.
Emergency Food Distribution of USDA Commodities
Second Harvest Food Bank operates five USDA commodity distribution centers in Davenport, Live Oak, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz, and Watsonville. USDA commodities, donated fruits and vegetables, and other foods are distributed to income-qualifying families through the Emergency Food Distribution program. Second Harvest also uses the USDA Emergency Food Distribution to promote other federal assistance programs, such as food stamps, which are under-utilized in our community.
Emergency Food Distribution occurs at Second Harvest Food Bank in Watsonville on the second Monday of each month from 8am-1pm. For information on other distribution sites and times, click here.