Today, as we look back over the last 18 months, it’s easy to feel like the worst is behind us. Vaccines are here. Businesses are reopening, and more people are back to work. Employers have more open positions than they're able to fill. But lines at food banks aren't getting any shorter.
Employers are hiring, but many available jobs are low wage. People have lost any savings they might have had before the pandemic. And as they try to recover, get out of debt, and find their way back to financial security, food is sometimes a negotiable expense.
More than a quarter of a million meals are being provided every day to the six-county service area; roughly double the daily distribution before the crisis hit. Your support this year will help provide nutritious meals to individuals and families facing some of the hardest times of their lives.
Your support allows Second Harvest to fill a semi-truck with nutritious, fresh food two or three times a day and drive it
to under-served communities and food deserts. Neighbors are able to line up their cars at these mobile food drops and
receive a variety of shelf-stable foods, fresh produce, meat, bread and dairy items loaded into their cars by volunteers.
"Our family has been through so much that I was embarrassed to ask for help with food too," explains Dawn. She and her husband recently adopted their grandkids after their daughter's unexpected death. "You've helped my family out tremendously. I cannot thank you enough."
Inside Mercy Kitchen, volunteers help prepare thousands of meals for local kids everyday. Thanks to you, kids can access
the healthy meals they need to learn, grow, and thrive. And parents facing difficult financial decisions feel a sense of relief.
"I didn't know this kind of help was available," said Darren, father of two. He recently started a new job but hasn't been able to catch up on rent or other bills. "Knowing my kids have food for the week ahead makes it easier for me to focus on getting back on track."
Available free of charge for qualified, at-risk, and economically disadvantaged adults, Second Harvest Food Bank's 16-week Culinary Training program teaches culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry.
"I tell everyone that it's never too late. If you have a goal, or a dream that you want to do, do it," says Shandra, a past graduate. "My life has changed for the better. I'm grateful to everyone who has had a role in helping me get to where I am today."
Your trust and generosity make our relief efforts possible. But the work is far from complete. Thousands of families, kids and seniors experience hunger, with all signs pointing towards needs increasing in the months to come. Thank you for trusting us with this important work and joining us in the fight against hunger.