Monday, October 13, 2008

2008 Holiday Food & Fund Drive Kicks Off For Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties

Economic Climate Has Food Bank Concerned as They Strive to Meet Increasing Need

San Jose, CA – October 13, 2008 – Second Harvest Food Bank, the main source of food for nonprofit agencies serving the hungry in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, announced today the kick off of its 2008 Holiday Food & Fund Drive. This year’s goal to collect $8 million in financial donations and 1.7 million pounds in food donations reflects the highest ever for the organization.

“In these tough economic times, we are seeing an unprecedented number of people seeking food assistance – some for the very first time,” said Michelle Sklar, Senior Director of Development for Second Harvest Food Bank. “Now, more than ever, our services are needed to ensure that those being negatively affected by the economic downturn, layoffs and high food prices have access to the healthy food they need to feed themselves and their families. We are working hard to meet the rise in demand and need the public’s help to achieve our mission.”

Every year over 1,800 organizations participate in the annual drive making it one of the largest in the country. This year’s Food & Fund Drive is being co-chaired by John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Symantec Corporation and Bill Watkins, CEO of Seagate. These high profile executives are taking time out of their busy schedules to support the drive because they are passionate about the work the Food Bank does.

“This holiday season is a critical time. No donation is too big or too small,” said Keith Flagler, CEO at Second Harvest. “We are asking everyone to give what they can. Because 96 cents of every dollar donated to the Food Bank is used to feed hungry people in our community, donors can be assured their contribution will be put to its intended use.”

The kick off celebration takes place:
Tuesday, October 14th
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Second Harvest Food Bank’s San Carlos Distribution Center
1051 Bing Street, San Carlos

Event Highlights include:
  • Hors d'oeuvres prepared from food reflective of the items distributed to our clients
  • Welcome addresses from food drive chairs: John W. Thompson, Chairman and CEO of Symantec and Bill Watkins, CEO Seagate
  • Hunger Index Project: An Overview of Hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties - Presentation Cindy McCown, Senior Director of Programs and Services at Second Harvest
  • Voices of Hunger photo DVD – see hunger through the eyes of children
  • Warehouse Tours
Because of the high cost of living in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, people often have to choose between paying for housing, utilities, transportation, medical expenses and buying enough nutritious food to feed themselves and their families. Second Harvest Food Bank provides the people need to sustain their lives so they don’t have to make that choice. Last year alone, Second Harvest distributed 34.6 million pounds of food to 176,000 low-income individuals each month; 67% are families with children and 12% are seniors.