“Local Hunger Fighters” is a series that spotlights our awesome supporters and staff who help raise awareness of hunger in our community and motivate people to get involved.
Local Hunger Fighters: David Cox, Executive Director, and Vicky Martin, Pantry Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Family Center
How are you helping Second Harvest and our community?
St Joseph’s Family Center is a multi-service agency that is helping Second Harvest Food Bank and our community by operating a full-service food pantry, a daily brown bag lunch program for the unhoused in our community, and a Push Produce distribution to approximately 600 families weekly. We host a CalFresh specialist and a County Services specialist weekly. SJFC distributes food to a variety of offsite locations including migrant living facilities, group homes, and the newest project, the School Pantry program – we’ve assisted the food bank in starting pantries at six school locations in the South County in an effort to get food directly into the households of children. SJFC is a participant in the Grocery Rescue program; we gratefully receive thousands of pounds of quality, fresh food items weekly from 4 Grocery Rescue stores in our community.
What inspires you to give?
We are inspired by the people and families we serve. Hearing the challenges faced by the families and individuals we serve each day, seeing how hard they work just to make it to the end of the month – and some just to the end of the day – watching them receive the services we offer with a grateful heart and a positive attitude, inspires us to work harder to help make the quality of their lives better. Doing for a few what we wish we could do for everyone is what drives all of us at St Joseph’s Family Center.
Why should people care about hunger in our community?
We can all relate to hunger, some of us for shorter periods of time than others, but we all know how an empty stomach feels. Imagine that feeling as being a constant influence in our daily lives. Hunger hurts! Hearing teachers talk of students who come into class agitated, hungry and unable to learn. Knowing that the elderly in our community are on a fixed income struggling to survive while food prices increase. Watching the rents in our area increase dramatically while parents work 2 and 3 jobs just to keep a roof over their families’ heads, leaving very little of their income for other necessities such as food. Seeing our neighbors struggle with food-related health issues. These are all reasons to care. Hunger hurts everyone!
Why do you support Second Harvest?
Second Harvest Food Bank meets people where they’re at. Their direct service approach reduces the barriers to food and nutrition. They are strong advocates for the hungry and the policy changes needed to address the issues surrounding hunger. Their forward thinking approach in finding new ways to reach the food insecure makes them a valuable partner. But most of all, on a daily basis, they are some of the best people to have on your side! Their friendly, positive spirits and sincere concern for the hungry is commendable!
***Want to meet more people working to end hunger in our community? Click here to read past Local Hunger Fighters posts.