As time continues to carry on in this unpredictable and frankly, unprecedented climate, one thing continues to be true for the Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, that people are still in need of nourishment. In one way or another, we’ve all been hit hard by the pandemic, but charities and agencies like us are the ones that have seemed to have suffered the most. That being said, there is still so much good in this world and we’ve had the privilege of welcoming Chef Kat McDonnell from On the Scene Cuisine to create a delicious meal for some of our local seniors.
We’d like to take this time to celebrate the fact that over 200 meals were cooked for seniors in need locally this year for Easter. This spring, we knew it was especially imperative to bring some delicious and nutritious food to some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The past year has been arduous for us all, but isolation, loneliness, and anxiety have been especially difficult for older people. It’s amazing what a warm meal can do on a holiday to brighten someone’s spirits. As we’ve said, the past year hasn’t been easy for anyone, but holidays that are meant to be celebrated with friends and loved ones can be especially challenging for the oldest members of society.
We ran into several obstacles attempting to cook and deliver more than 200 meals in a day, and we were thinking we may have bitten off more than we could chew. (Pun not intended.) This was our first time organizing an event that asked the community to donate in a way that allowed us to prepare and deliver all these ready to eat meals. In the final hours, we has so many volunteers rise to the occasion by showing upp to help us drive meals all over the area.
Each meal included ham, potatoes au gratin, peas & carrots, rolls, and desserts, lovingly prepared by Chef Kat. Chef Kat is known to treat all who meet her like family, and that was certainly the case when it came to creating meals for those in need this Easter. She even took extra care to think about how those meals needed to be prepared based on whom would be eating them, senior with special dietary needs. For example, the ham was low sodium and she made sure to use a healthier options for the vegetables and deserts. Dinner was created and delivered hot for our seniors to enjoy, further underscoring the enormous efforts of all of our volunteers and their even more enormous hearts.
While it was exciting to be able to feed some seniors in need, there isn’t a moment that passes that doesn’t remind every member of our team that there are still many people in need. It can be difficult to consider how many people are without regular nutritious meals, but there are things we can all do, like donating or volunteering to an organization like ours. Our ethos is based upon our unwavering commitment to fight hunger locally by feeding anyone in need.
At Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, part of our message includes the spreading of hope, which is also integral to our mission, and a person’s overall wellbeing. Even the smallest feelings of hope can be the impetus for big changes. In addition, as a Partner of Feeding America, we value the diversity of the individuals we serve and always endeavor to treat each other with dignity and respect.
We want to thank the many people that donated money to help us purchase and deliver all these meals. Thank you to Chef Kat for preparing, cooking, and packaging all the meals. Thank you to all the volunteers that made the delivery of these meals possible. And thank you to all the seniors for the warm smiles you welcomed us with as we brought you this Easter meal.
We’ve Changed Our Name from Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties to Second Harvest of the Greater Valley.
While one of the reasons we changed our name is to enable us to be easier to find, it has left some of our community, especially donors, a little confused. Luckily, we’re here to tell you that our ambitions are the same, just our name has changed. You can call us Second Harvest of the Greater Valley. Our ultimate driving force is the idea that possibilities are endless when we work together. In the realm of charity, collaboration can make amazing things possible.
We’d like to take this opportunity to underscore the fact that our PDO’s possess their own fundraising efforts, and at Second Harvest of the Greater Valley, we consider ourselves more of a hub of support. Did you know that 35,000 individuals are in need each month in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, and the Gold Country?
Second Harvest of the Greater Valley collects and donates purchased food from a variety of donors, agency partners, and even program sites, where it is thoughtfully prepared and then distributed to those in need in our community.
In keeping with the spirit of this update, we’d also like to let you know that we are taking all the proper precautions to protect our volunteers, employees, and recipients alike. The need for food banks and food assistance programs like us doesn’t cease in a pandemic. Instead, the demand for charitable services has actually gone up exponentially.
Please note the following COVID precautions we’re taking at Second Harvest of the Greater Valley:
There may be challenges aplenty right now, but with the support of donors like you, we can continue to feed over 35,000 people monthly in the Greater Valley, and now, more than ever, we need assistance from the community. In an arduous and unpredictable climate, food scarcity issues become more serious, and part of our ethos is our unwavering commitment to fight hunger locally by feeding anyone in need. Part of our message also pertains to the spreading of hope, which is also integral to our mission. We value the diversity of the individuals we serve and always endeavor to treat each other with dignity and respect.