Second Harvest needs turkeys

Nonprofit food bank is asking for financial and turkey donations for Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties needs turkeys so that local pantries, soup kitchens and shelters that depend on Second Harvest for food can provide their clients with a traditional holiday meal.

This year's goal is 12,000 turkeys, and Second Harvest still needs more than 5,600 turkeys, according to the organization.

Turkeys can be dropped off at Second Harvest Food Bank's Curtner Center in San Jose (750 Curtner Ave.) and Bing Center in San Carlos (1051 Bing St.). Turkeys should not be placed in the food collection barrels located throughout the community.

"Turkey is a traditional holiday meal for many local families, so we are depending on the community to help us meet our turkey goal," said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. "We also need monetary donations to help feed our hungry neighbors long after the holidays are over. The Food Bank continues to face unprecedented need despite the improving economy. The number of people Second Harvest serves jumped 50 percent after the recession started and has continued to rise every year since."

In addition to the high need, inventory at the Food Bank is lower than normal at this time of year.

"The shelves at Second Harvest are getting a little bare, and that is concerning," Jackson said. "Monetary donations can go a long way toward helping us fill those shelves. With our purchasing power, Second Harvest can turn a $1 donation into the equivalent of two nutritious meals."

This week, Sutter Health announced it donated $50,000 to the Second Harvest sites in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara/San Mateo counties -- those served by the Sutter-affiliate Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF). The Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County was given $16,500, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties received $33,500.

Second Harvest provides food to more than 250,000 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties each single month -- one in 10 people, an organization press release stated. Second Harvest launched its Holiday Food and Fund Drive last month with a goal of raising $13.2 million and 2 million pounds of food.

Second Harvest partners with more than 330 nonprofit agencies to provide food at more than 770 sites throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. It is one of only a few food banks in the nation that does not charge its partners for the food it provides, the press release stated. Last year, the Food Bank distributed nearly 52 million pounds of food to the community. More than 50 percent of the food Second Harvest provides is fresh produce.

Second Harvest's Curtner Center dock is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week; from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23; and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Second Harvest's Bing Center dock is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, November 23.

More information is available at Second Harvest and 866-234-3663. People needing food should call Second Harvest's Food Connection hotline at 800-984-3663.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff


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