Second Harvest Food Bank began as Good Samaritan Community Services in 1976 through a grant and contract with the County to administer the State Brown Bag and Title III-B programs for low income senior citizens in San Joaquin County. In time Good Samaritan began to collect more food than needed to supply this program and began to provide supplemental groceries to other non-profit charities with food operations of their own.
In May of 1995, the Food Bank joined a national coalition of food banks known then as America’s Second Harvest, now known as Feeding America. Joining with this national coalition provided the opportunity to receive donations on a large corporate level and opened the door for growth and expansion. In September of 1996 the Food Bank completed its separation from Good Samaritan and established its own non-profit entity and began doing business as the San Joaquin Food Bank.
Another big step was taken in 2001 when San Joaquin Food Bank merged with the Modesto-Riverbank-Stanislaus County Food Bank to form Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. The merging of these two entities allowed for a more effective and increased distribution of food to those in need in 8 counties, including San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and the Mother Lode.
Today Second Harvest Food Bank continues on its mission of fighting hunger by distributing over 15 million pounds of food to over 365,000 individuals by sustaining and growing its vital programs.