Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, which operates as the primary food bank in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, is facing a shortage of volunteers as the number of people it provides with food assistance in the two counties has risen to about a half million.
The demand for groceries and food assistance that Second Harvest provides has doubled in the wake of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, according to a news release from the nonprofit.
It has expanded food distribution sites to 130 new drive-thru locations, which increases the food bank's need for volunteers. Many distribution operations have drawn only about half of the needed workers, according to the release.
"Since the pandemic began, we have seen an outpouring of support from people wanting to help, but we are now distributing 80% more food than we did before and we simply need more help," said Leslie Bacho, CEO for Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
Volunteers are expected to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Seniors or anyone with a chronic health condition are not recommended to volunteer at this time. Anyone showing signs of illness will be asked to leave and come back when they are well. The minimum age to volunteer is 14, and all volunteers ages 14 to 17 must have a signed electronic permission slip on file at least 48 hours before volunteering, according to the statement.
Go to shfb.org/give-help/volunteer to sign up for a shift.