Second Harvest Food Bank Today's World

Sunday, July 23rd


Sue Hall speaks with Cindy McCown with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties about programs to feed the hungry all year around.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and this is today's world. I'm sue hall and as always you can listen to this show and others at today's world SF dot com. Thank you for listening for the next fifteen minutes I had the pleasure speaking with Cindy McAllen she is vice president of community engagement and policy at the second harvest food banks. Of Santa Clara and Emma Taylor counties welcome thank you for having me sure Cindy let's set let's talk a little bit about. You and your background first IC that you went to cal poly. And then graduate school you've got quite. I history and accuracy tell me about how you got involved. Early on in my career I actually out of graduate school and worked with migrant families down and that Oceana area. And I really found my passion and to work well for low income communities. And as I worked with the food bank I realize that. That not only providing assistance to people who might need it is important but also abdicate. And not only advocated at the local level but also relieved look for system changes and I think that that's really got me hooked into. Where I've evolved in my career and then Apple's how weak hand. Not only address immediate needs but also longer term means that we have in our communities and the state national level as well so you do get at that level yes for us legalization and laws and because many times the food nutrition programs that funding is actually coming from the federal level down to the states and the local areas are you finding. It difficult to get funding for these types of things especially in the current. Atmosphere or it's clear he challenging I think that we are extremely fortunate that we have strong elected officials app that's critically at the federal level because some of the programs that we're going to be talking about today. Are federally funded. And we have very strong advocates what's important differences to make sure elected officials know. What are the issues who the people with in their districts who are the ones Rashtchy seeking these services. Times that's the role of the food bank to put a face on the person within those districts. Of those elected officials say no these children that are participating in the in the summer feeding programs. These are the working families that are not only working sometimes one and two jobs. But also earn less in need of assistance to the conference programs that's part of our role as help them. Understand what's happening in their districts of them and they go back to either the state level and the federal level. They know exactly who are those people can tell those stories is really. It's very very important for us to put a face on this and huge issue hunger and dealing. And as a second harvest food bank of Santa Clara and cemetery caddies is one of the largest in the country is that is it not true yes we are yeah we're theory. It in many ways very proud of some of the work that we are doing because we're very unusual in the food banking world all of our services are completely free. And we not only provide food assistance we also. He advocacy work were also looking at innovative ways beacon touched more people. And then lastly were also an organization. And is currently looking continuous learning and really pushing forward our mission of hunger free community food bank can't do it around. It's a public private partnership and that's what's critically important for our community understand. We all need to have that vision and our community and I do see so much waste in the food world in the restaurant worlds and the grocery world. Is that where most of your food comes from donations some of our food comes from donations might come from food that is. Cosmetic implants there's nothing wrong with the produce but it may be it has the blemish on. It may be it's oversized sometimes they think it's super sized watermelon through inasmuch as they can either be. In 25 pounds or they can be a little mini ones on. And also we work with at restaurants rushers just writing things community members I'd donate to us. And then we get financial donations those critically important for a supply food. That needy is not donated on nutrition it's really important to us the kinds of things we might buy it would be things like eggs peanut butter. Basic staple items did people get ahold of you if they wanted to donate a NB volunteer. Okay well if people want to donate they can go to our web say an SH a B dot work. They also can call up people neat food and that's also important in the food connection hotlines can call 1800. 9843663. Are once again I'm talking with seeing a gallon she's the vice president of community engagement and policy. For the second harvest food bank of Santa Clara and Sam Taylor county is one of the largest food banks in the entire nation. Mobile food trucks to feed hungry kids now there's a challenge during the summertime. With kids who are eligible who are not being fat let's talk about that it's it's a staggering number to me. Yes during the summer months we hear finding that four to five eligible children do not participate in and a summer feeding site and so that really that's a number. That that really should be unacceptable in our communities many of these children also lose support. During the summer they might be eating at their school sites and then during the summer break they don't have access to. And so that's why the food bank has taken a leadership role in forming in newly formed children's nutrition coalition. We've brought together community partners to look at innovative ways that we couldn't reach children where there. So an example is Mountain View Whitman's school district in Mountain View as one of our partners. The put together Friday a mobile feeding options some of the locations are. Park locations for frankly families are actually listening. Kids are congregating. Were also next user also next to a parking lot next to me actually library. They do barbecues at that particular site and Tutsis have upwards to 400 minutes a day. Parks and recreation has recreational programs rather blocking the children over so that's an example one of them will bubble. Sites that were working at this summer were also working with Stanford medical school. And evaluating. Those different mobile models that we that we can do is learn from those. It air raid in real inmate modifications moving for its next summer and even more robust. So you're actually getting mobile food items out to these kids. 400 a day and that's just in one location is one locations what Mountain View Whitman does that they actually prepare the meals from scratch the action happens enough. On app they're central kitchen and and and eight transport the meals to the park locations to apply for it location also some school site. That their working laugh and they've done a phenomenal. Job. Debbie. Austin who's their food service director at call her superstar now that they are going to be more than doubling their meals and they expect to serve. 60000. Meals that summer. Some of the other mobile models that were working as an apartment complex in east and is day. Where they have over 12100. Apartments. And meals are being delivered to this location. And they're also doing programming. We also have library locations on. And what we're trying to do is not only have the feeding sites but also partner with organizations that are providing enrichment to the children. Might be a library has story hour and coupling it with their literacy programs. We're really excited this summer some of the county library stepped up. In Gil Gloria Morgan Hill that's nudist summer these libraries did not offer summer meals and we're very very excited that they. Actually because of some of the work we did but the coalition. They planned their programming around the meals. They also have a location rather taking a mobile library. To stand Martina is not an incorporated Syrians and Clara county so again. Bringing the services to the children. One of the things that happens during the summer is learning loss for children. And it's critically important for us to understand the cult of on correlation between. Proper healthy fee food for children and then being able to learn. So mania of the sites are really looking at that and trying to prevent summer's flight so that's why programming is something that we're really looking out. One of our partners this summer was the big list inspiring summer program. Where they are working with low income children and preparing them for the school year. On and really focusing on literacy with the children so there optimizing the federal nutrition programs for the kids in the morning. And then for their lunch and then the food bank is odd Manning was snaps for the children can some children action there for the whole day. It's a very exciting partnership inning can not only making sure that children have access to food. But the learning opportunities and really they showed they very they show very differently when they go in game on. The new school year and that's what we've heard last summer. When we started this partnership with the big left inspiring summer program how to people find out about the locations where they can bring their kids are the kids can goal. Throughout is that there's a hole. The nutrition coalition members you've got a whole slew of the whole list so that's out there and they're very diverse yet you'll see on there is very very diverse public and private organizations. That were partner net boys and girls clubs libraries government. Government organizations nonprofits. People could call the food being they can color fi connection hotline at 1800. 9843663. They can also text food. And and that is another way that they can also find out locations that are open to them. And then they can also go to the food banks. Website at www. SH FB dot org slash get food excellent and that gives them all the locations the times and any pertinent information about the site. What surprises me is a lot of these places were talking about her in the Silicon Valley one of the richest places in the entire world really. And it's amazing to me that so many kids are being overlooked in the Silicon Valley. I think well one of the things is that during the summer in particular. Access to locations can be particularly challenging during the school year mine they might be busta locations and that's what the mobile pieces are important. We are fortunate that we do you have a lot of communities support. On practically none only during the summer months that year round. But it is important understand people need the here around so donations are critically important both financial donations and physical donations. And the reality is the cost of living in the Silicon Valley. Is huge challenging can only imagine if you have a household. Who was working. Maybe mother and a father working each working full time and might be able to make France. A one bedroom apartment some of our communities can be over 2000 dollars a month. And so they might be able to make France some of the other living expenses but when you start deducting some of those expanses it's veering very challenging. And that's why we have sometimes in our area we have in two in three families sharing an apartment house of the housing. Challenges we have in the Bay Area put particular pressure on. Working pork or working families. Who might be. May be lower wage earners the working that they really aren't having difficulty making ends meet. Cinema down as with the second harvest food bank of Santa Clara and salmon Taylor county is partnering with. County add organizations to make sure these kids get fed and let's talk about the adults for a minute because. I can picture of these kids getting. Dropped off for getting food but their parents may not be. Involved in the east kid you know school programs obviously. I under the food bank actually that this is one of the programs we work uncertainly of the family needs food the whole family. They can also call our 1800 number a food connection hotline and they can find out where they can get groceries. We do have some targeted sites where we're paying for the adults eat but the children and and and that big lift inspiring summer program. So if the parents want to sit and eat but the child particularly. The preschoolers that this might be their first learning environment. May not feel it's too comfortable in the morning and so mom are doubters caregiver. Is whip them in the morning they can have breakfast together that is key. And so we do you have some limited money it's on pats and targeted sites where. We are actually able to also have adults eat with the children. In an infamous. Locations it may be adults are what children immediately and they say the ball Boys and Girls Club where he walks over summer campers that type of thing got you. So once again at it's really important to get this that food connection hotline out there it's 800. 9843663. You can text food or could meet. 2877877. Or at the web sites www. SH. FB. Dot org slash get food all the various ways. To make sure that your children your family your neighbors and those in need in the Santa Clara valley second harvest food bank is their free you. This is a year round problem I know I'll I'm speaking T now it's in the middle of summer at sometimes we re air this program so may be that this school is in session when folks are listening to this. So it is important to get volunteers and donations. Year round to help out and that I think those numbers are the same for donations and volunteers yes all right anemic gallon is. With us today vice president of community engagement and policy with the second harvest food bank of Santa Clara and cemetery counties. One of the biggest in the entire country let's give the numbers one more time. Okay 1809843663. Or text food. Irk the media at 877877. Or SH FB dot org slash get fined Cindy thank you for your time today and fortunately our time is up. We appreciate you being here and thank you for all the to do fear community. Thank you. My name is to halt this is today's world if you wanna hear this show if you wanna hear past shows or we are always open to. New show ideas please visit us at today's world asks asp dot com we will be back next weekend thank you city into.