Annie’s Farewell Letter

Annie 2

Dear Second Harvest Food Bank Member Agencies,

At the end of July, my time here at the food bank will come to a close, as my program will be ending, and I will move on to a new job. In the wake of my departure, I would like to say thank you to all of you for a wonderful year. There are so many wonderful things about the food bank, and the most wonderful by far was meeting all of you. Getting to interact with you in the distribution center during shopping, or when I came to visit your sites, was the greatest gift I have received all year. You are the ones who work on the front lines in the fight against hunger. Your gracious efforts to promote nutrition and stop hunger in the community are truly humbling. You model true selflessness, unwavering courage, and remarkable integrity, a light that often goes unrecognized, but that is, needless to say, essential to the future of our community. When I see you show up day-to-day to cook for people who have not eaten in a few days, or to spend the day with clients that have health issues, or to provide a healthy grocery bag for a family in need, I recognize that people like you are rare in the world, and I aspire to be half as giving of my time and energy as you all are.

Each agency has brought me a new perspective, because each of you is unique in your way of problem solving and change. I hope that each of you will continue in the work that you are accomplishing, conscious of what nutritious food can do for people. An interest in food is something we all share, and the most important thing you can do is introduce someone to a new type of food that might improve their health, and ultimately improve their quality of life. So check out a few boxes of chard or kale instead of pastries—give your clients a recipe so they know what to do with it. It might just change their lives.

Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your knowledge and your busy schedules with me this year. I am so blessed to have worked alongside you all. I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my life. I wish all the best for you!

Queridas agencias del banco de comida,

Al fin de Julio, mi tiempo aquí en el banco de comida va a terminar, porque mi programa de Americorps se acabará. Quiero decir muchas gracias a ustedes por un año magnifico. Mi memoria más bonita del banco de comida es conocer a ustedes. Platicar y pasar tiempo con ustedes mientras compraban comida en el banco, o cuando yo visitaba sus sitios, era el regalo más importante que he recibido en todo el año. Ustedes están en frente de la guerra contra el hambre. Sus esfuerzos de promover nutrición y parar el hambre en la comunidad son increíbles. Ustedes tienen corazones de oro y valor invencible. Todos esos esfuerzos muchas veces no se reconocen, pero es esencial para el futuro de nuestra comunidad. Cuando les veo a ustedes cocinando diariamente para los que no han comido por tres días, o pasando el día con clientes que tienen mala salud, o llevando una bolsa de comidas nutritivas a una familia pobre, me doy cuenta de que ustedes son individuales preciosos. Espero que yo pueda tener solo mitad del corazón que tienen ustedes.

Cada agencia me ha mostrado nuevo perspectivo, y cada uno de ustedes tiene sus propias resoluciones para problemas. Espero que cada uno de ustedes siga en sus logros, mientras se dan cuenta de la importancia de comida nutritiva. Todos compartimos el entendimiento de nutrición, y lo más importante es continuar introduciendo nuevos tipos de comida que mejoran la salud de la gente que sirven ustedes. Al fin, esto puede mejorar su calidad de vida. Lleven algunas cajas de col rizada del banco de comida en vez de galletas y den a los clientes una receta para que sepan cómo usarla. Ustedes tienen el poder de cambiar las vidas de sus clientes!

Una vez más, gracias, gracias, gracias para compartir sus conocimientos y sus rutinas ocupadas conmigo este ano. Estoy muy afortunada haber trabajar al lado de ustedes. Voy a llevar esta experiencia conmigo por el resto de mi vida. Espero lo mejor para todos de ustedes!

July Agency Spotlight: Santa Cruz AIDS Project

This story was contributed by our Communications Manager here at Second Harvest, Vicki Lowell:

Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP) serves men, women and children who are HIV positive living in Santa Cruz County. Their mission is to promote and participate in a comprehensive and compassionate response to HIV and AIDS through education, advocacy, and supportive services.

“There are still people living with HIV and AIDS and there is no cure,” says Jessica Donahue, a Case Manager at SCAP. “We use outreach and events to educate people that this is still a current issue and to reduce the stigma.”

With offices in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, SCAP currently has approximately 250 clients. In addition to counseling and advocacy, they provide a small on-site food pantry that clients may access once a week.

Volunteers help keep the pantry in order.
Volunteers help keep the pantry in order.

“Many of the clients we serve fall under federal poverty levels and rely on our food pantry to either supplement the cost of groceries, or as their primary source of food,” Jessica explains. “Nutrient rich food is important to people with HIV/AIDS because it helps keep one’s immune system strong to better fight disease.”

Clients may access the pantry once a week, filling a bag with one of each item for themselves and their families. The majority of the food comes from Second Harvest; they also receive produce from the Homeless Garden Project.

Jessica says in addition to the produce, clients appreciate staples such as rice, beans, cereal and milk. “The spices, condiments, salad dressings and oils we receive from Second Harvest’s food drives are also popular because these items are expensive to purchase at the grocery store.”

“I have been so happy being able to use local produce to stay fed and healthy,” says one SCAP client. “Thanks for the great produce.”

SCAP relies heavily on volunteers and support from the community. One of their largest fund raising events is the Surf City AIDS Ride that takes place on September 21st. All proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Aids Project. Registration for the event is now open.

Santa Cruz Aids Project 2

A Memo from the Desk of Brooke Sampson…

July 9, 2014
Member Agency Memo
Re: Order quantity limits and network food distribution assessment

Dear Member Agency Representative,

In order to accommodate the food needs of agencies across our countywide network, we set limits on available items that are limited in supply. In implementing our upgraded inventory management system this July, we have applied these limits to the online menu, in addition to posting them in our on-site shopping area.

In the case of donated items, we set product-specific limits to maximize the number of agencies that can obtain a portion of the donated goods, particularly items that are in high demand but are donated infrequently (such as dairy and meat items).

In the case of Shop Smart items, we have set a maximum quantity of 20 cases per item across the board. Although the Shop Smart program is driven by agency demand, it is constrained by product availability from our vendors at a price that, with our 25% subsidy, is affordable for our member agencies. In order to get the best price and freight rate on the items we purchase for the Shop Smart program, we order in multiple pallet quantities and coordinate purchases of several items at a time from our vendors. Given the volume of Shop Smart orders, we typically place orders every 2 months.

We can accommodate our member agencies that require Shop Smart items in larger quantity than is available for order on our standard online menu when given appropriate lead time to put a purchase together at a good price. Going forward, we ask that agencies placing large quantity orders forecast their Shop Smart needs quarterly and submit these orders 3 months in advance, so that our staff can secure reasonable prices and freight rates. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. These orders should be emailed to Grace Galvan, Director of Agency Network Services, at Your compliance with providing 3 months lead time for larger quantity orders will enable us to keep adequate supplies of Shop Smart items on hand to fulfill orders for all our member agencies.

In an effort to better understand the food needs of our member agencies, so that we can be proactive in acquiring needed foods and effective in distributing them through our network in a timely manner to reach people in need countywide, we have been working over the past months to analyze our aggregate distribution data and map our network of agencies and programs. In the coming months, we will embark on the second phase of this assessment, analyzing distribution and capacity at the agency level. We have a Masters of Social Work candidate, Joe Pirmann, who will be assisting us with the field work component of this assessment. Thank you for responding to his requests for information, so that we can improve our service.

We truly appreciate your partnership in the fight to end hunger and malnutrition in Santa Cruz County.


Brooke Sampson
Chief Operations and Programs Officer

Recall Notice: California Firm Recalls Chicken Products Due to Possible Salmonella Heidelberg Contamination, July 4, 2014


“Foster Farms, based in Fresno, produced the chicken on March 8, 10 and 11, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.” CNN article

“The products are mostly likely no longer available for purchase, but may be in consumers’ freezers,” the federal agency said.

For full recall details visit this link.

This is the link for the list list of items affected.

July Nutrition Notes: Oral Health

July’s topic is Oral Health and Nutrition. Nutrition and good oral health are essential for preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other diseases, such as Diabetes type 1, type 2, and cardiovascular disease. The good news is we can prevent all of these diseases by having proper nutrition and good oral hygiene. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent oral health diseases:

Oral Health English

El tema para el mes de Julio es sobre salud oral y Nutricion. Nutricion y buena salud oral son necesarias para prevenir caries dentales, enfermedades en las encillas, y otras enfermedades tales como, diabetes 1 y 2, y enfermedades cardiovasculares. La buena noticia es que podemos prevenir todas estas enfermedades al tener Nutricion apropiada y buena higiene oral. Aquí están algunas sugerencias como prevenir enfermedades orales:

Salud Oral Espanol