Second Harvest Food Bank is about to enter its most intense two months of the year, in which it encourages and empowers the community to organize the dozens of local food and fund drives throughout the county which together are the Holiday Food & Fund Drive. County business, civic, and community leaders and activists will come together on November 7 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos to launch this annual campaign.
The drive is Second Harvest’s biggest of the year, and 100% of proceeds raised will go to its network of 200 pantries, soup kitchens, recovery centers, assisted living homes, and food and nutrition programs throughout the county. Every month, 55,000 residents of Santa Cruz County depend upon food provided by Second Harvest and its agencies.
Second Harvest Food Bank Holiday Food and Fund Drive Co Chairs:
Megan Martinelli, Engaged Citizen
John Laird, Former Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency from 2011-2019
At the event, the community will hear from speakers including Chris Murphy, President of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Pastor Rene Schlaepfer, Twin Lakes Church, Jocelyn MacNeil, KAZU, among other successful organizers of past community food drives. Strategies and ideas will be shared so that campaign participants will be inspired to spearhead drives at their own businesses, schools, and other organizations.
Last year the Food Bank reached its goal of raising 4.8 million meals and is keeping that goal this year; an ambitious target that the drive’s co-chairs — John Laird, former California Secretary for Natural Resources and Megan Martinelli, engaged citizen — intend to meet.
“Unfortunately, the high cost of living in Santa Cruz County continues to strain people’s budgets and a large number of individuals and working families need to rely on help from The Food Bank. For those of us who are a little more fortunate, it’s a great time to come together and help those who are struggling with food insecurity,” said Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Willy Elliott-McCrea.
For the fourth straight year, Dignity Health is the Presenting Sponsor of the Holiday Food & Fund Drive.
Event and ticket information can be found at www.thefoodbank.org/kickoff2019.
Founded in 1972, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County was the first food bank in California and the second in the nation. Its network of 200 local agencies and programs feeds 55,000 people in Santa Cruz County every month. For every dollar donated, the food bank can provide four healthy meals. www.thefoodbank.org