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Neighborhood Open House Celebrates Friends and Raises Meals

We love to hear stories of people in the community who have come up with fresh, new ways to take part in Second Harvest’s Holiday Food & Fund Drive. We recently received an email from Shelly Hernandez, a woman who, along with her husband, Marty, have turned their annual holiday get-together into an event that positively impacts the larger community and raises meals for Second Harvest.

Shelly and Marty host a Holiday Open House at their home each year which includes a delicious array of dishes, set up buffet-style.  Four years ago Shelly had the brainstorm to turn their annual party into a benefit for Second Harvest. She asked all of her guests to either make a monetary contribution, or bring cans and non-perishable food items to the party.

“What I say on the invites is, ‘I’ll be feeding you, and together we will be feeding the hungry’. It’s a win-win,” says Shelly.


She called up Second Harvest and requested some donation barrels, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I love the way all of our friends can join in to help such a great cause, and every year it gets bigger and bigger.”

This year Shelly and Marty raised an amazing 912 meals for the hungry of Santa Cruz County.

Her story is an inspiring example of how a few people can get together and make a huge difference in the lives of others. Thank you, Shelly, Marty, and friends!