Thursday, June 08, 2006

Second Harvest

Over twelve thousand pounds of food! That's how much food we sorted and repackaged last night at the Second Harvest Food bank in San Jose. With a group of ten Belgians and one Italian, we joined a team of volunteers to sort through pallets of donated food. And although the work isn't very difficult or strenuous, everybody was working at an incredible pace, as if Hurricane Katrina was looming around the corner. There wasn't much chit-chat going on. Instead all you heard were the grunts of everybody hard at work: from creating and preparing boxes, to sorting the food, cleaning up the trashed items, to handling pallets and empty boxes.

The Second Harvest Food bank is an amazing organization, unlike anything you find in Belgium. Check it out (More statistics on their website):
  • Each month we serve an average of 163,500 people; enough people to fill Candlestick Park more than twice. Of those that we serve:
    • 60% are low-income families
    • 37% are children
    • 20% are seniors
    • The average income of the households we serve through our direct service programs are: $1,270 for a family of four; $900 for a two-person senior household; $700 for a two person volunteer household.
  • We are the primary source for donated, surplus and purchased foods for non-profit agencies and our direct service programs. In fact, we distributed 27 million pounds of food to our local communities last year.

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