The latest volunteer news from Second Harvest Food Bank
For the Volunteers Who Power Second Harvest
VIP Volunteer 


When people help others, so often, so willingly, it can be easy to get used to their generosity. Which is why it's important sometimes to stop and take time to recognize them, and show gratitude.

At next month's Annual Awards Dinner, we'll be honoring two dedicated volunteers, each of whom works with one of our partner agencies--Henry Reynolds from Teen Challenge and Ralph Cistaro from Loaves and Fishes. They are this year's Hunger Fighters of the Year!

Second Harvest will be honoring them and all the people who worked to make the Holiday Food & Fund Drive such a big success--thanks to the community's help, we reached our goal of raising 4.5 million meals for people in need! The dinner is March 8 (see Upcoming Events below).

But, of course, Second Harvest's work goes on! We always need volunteers to sort and bag produce for our programs, but right now we have extra need for helpers on Tuesdays and Thursdays. And we now have an opening on Thursday mornings for a volunteer for our Agency Distribution area, lifting product onto the scale and helping the agencies take food to their vehicles (so you must be able to lift 30 pounds!).

Please sign up at the link below or email me at

With gratitude,

Thousands of Hours, Millions of Meals
Our Hunger Fighters of the Year
"It’s great to be able to help [people] with whatever they need.” – Henry Reynolds

“I always felt privileged to be able to volunteer.” – Ralph Cistaro

These quotes came separately, unprompted, from the recipients of this year’s Hunger Fighter of the Year award. Their sentiments are remarkably similar, aren’t they?

Few people give of themselves to help others expecting something in return, but each of these veteran volunteers feels such joy in helping people in need that it feels, to them, like a privilege to be able to do so.

Let’s let that sink in a minute—Henry and Ralph have donated thousands of hours of their time helping others, yet they feel privileged.

We live in a wonderful community.

Henry serves as Program Director of Teen Challenge Monterey Bay, a residential program which helps adults recover from life-controlling problems. They serve meals to their “students” in full-time recovery, as well as to people seeking emergency food and shelter at their Pajaro Rescue Mission, 365 days a year. He sources food, advises students, manages the shelter, and has been an integral part of the program since he himself graduated from it 19 years ago.

And Ralph has devoted 3,000 hours of his time at Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes, selecting and acquiring food and produce at Second Harvest, unloading goods, serving clients, cleaning … doing whatever needs to be done. The Watsonville pantry and soup kitchen fills a critical need among low-income individuals and families. Read the full story here...

Upcoming Events
  March 8, 2017, Annual Awards Dinner
Please join us at our annual awards dinner celebration where we recognize the community's remarkable efforts during the Holiday Food & Fund Drive.
Tickets are now on sale

Wednesday, March 8 | Hotel Paradox, Santa Cruz

  Know someone who might like to work to end hunger and malnutrition? Second Harvest is hiring! Check out the job announcements on our Linkedin page.
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