Nutrition Newbie: May Your Days Be Merry, Healthy, and Bright

“Nutrition Newbie” is a series focused on basic nutrition information and tips.

Special Blog Post By: Alex Navarro, Nutrition Education Coordinator, San Mateo County


It’s that joyous time of the year again to celebrate with our family and friends. It’s also no surprise that with celebrations come rich, decadent foods – and lots of them. For those that have been working hard at eating healthy, or losing or maintaining your weight, this may be a difficult time for you. With the holiday parties upon us, some consider that overly used logic of just waiting to start eating healthy again on January 1 – new year, new you, right?

Don’t let the holidays stress you out quite yet. Rest assured that the average American gains only about one pound during the holiday season, but overindulging can also leave you bloated and sluggish the rest of the year with less motivation to stay on track. We can’t beat ourselves up for all the miniature Halloween candy bars we had, or that second serving at Thanksgiving dinner. But we can start making changes now. Let us help you stay focused…

Here are some of my favorite HEALTHY HELPFUL TIPS to help you stay on track this holiday season:

Don’t arrive to the party on an empty stomach.

This is something that I also repeat to clients when they go grocery shopping. Don’t shop on an empty stomach; don’t arrive to the party on an empty stomach. You will be able to have better control over your food choices if you’re not feeling like you are in starvation mode. I recommend a light snack an hour or two before you arrive, something that will digest slowly like whole wheat crackers with peanut butter, or a small apple and a cheese stick. This tip will help you avoid that ravenous feeling altogether.

Bake healthier by substituting ingredients.

We all know how important it is to follow a recipe especially when we are baking. But with a few simple ingredient substitutions, you can create a healthy recipe that won’t sacrifice taste or enjoyment. You may have some of these healthier ingredients already available in your own pantry. Using spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg is another way to add flavor to your favorite dessert and allows you to cut out some of the sugar. If baking for guests, they will be so thrilled that it’s homemade, they won’t even realize it’s healthier.


As a chocolate lover myself, when I found out you can make delicious brownies out of red kidney beans, I had to try it myself. You will love them! Here’s the Chocolate Red Kidney Bean recipe.

Also, this website has top healthy recipe substitutions that won’t sacrifice the flavor. Check out these easy ingredient swaps:


Lastly, don’t forget to make time for yourself.

The holidays can be a joyous time of the year, and also hectic and stressful. During stressful times, we tend to forgo eating healthy and making time to exercise. While a gym workout may not fit into your busy schedule, you can try to devote 15-20 minutes, a couple times during the day, for exercise. Lunch break walks are a great way to get some physical activity in. Also don’t forget to make some time for yourself doing something you really enjoy. In the midst of holiday cheer, busy shopping days, and children out of school, it’s easy to put ourselves last. Learning to unwind and devote time for yourself is key; even 15 minutes a day can do the trick.

Adding these few tips into your routine this holiday season will have you feeling better about yourself and your food choices. The one thing that all great food has in common is the pleasure that we get from eating it. So if you are going to indulge a bit more, remember do practice mindful eating. Enjoy your meal to the fullest by slowing down, and paying full attention to your food. Like I always tell my own kids: “It’ll taste better if you’re sitting down.”

For more tips on making healthier choices this holiday season check out this MyPlate 10 Tips Guide.

***Catch up on our past Nutrition Newbie posts.

New Funding Secured for School Breakfast Program

Special Blog Post By: Cindy McCown, Second Harvest Food Bank Vice President of Community Engagement and Policy


Second Harvest Food Bank is committed to working with policy makers, school administration, food service staff, teachers, parents, and students to increase local participation in the Federal School Breakfast Program (SBP).  We see this as a vital meal program to address childhood hunger and help every child reach their full academic potential.

Millions of low-income children have benefitted from the School Breakfast Program that launched as a pilot program established by the Child Nutrition Act of 1966. In the inaugural year, the average daily participation was 80,000 meals which has grown to an average of 14,900,000 breakfasts last year!

It has been well documented that students who have breakfast are better equipped for academic success.   If a child’s stomach is growling from hunger, it is hard to focusing on learning.  A report from the Food Research & Action Center and the National Association of Secondary School Principals found that students who have breakfast:

  • Exhibit improved cognitive function
  • Perform better on standardized tests
  • Show decreased tardiness, absenteeism
  • Have fewer behavioral issues

Principals reported:

  • 82% increased school breakfast participation
  • 66% fewer occurrences of student hunger
  • 47% improved student attentiveness
  • 33% fewer tardy students

In Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, approximately 35% of low-income students are reached by school breakfast.  The School Breakfast Program has changed over the years, the traditional model is providing breakfast in the cafeteria before school but there are alternative service models that have been proven to increase access. One of the most significant ways to increase participation is to make breakfast part of the school day.  Some of the best in class alternative breakfast models include: Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab n’ Go, and Second Chance Breakfast.

Earlier this year, Second Harvest Food Bank and other anti-hunger organizations worked with policy makers to make investments for schools expanding to offer alternative breakfast models.  We were successful in securing new funds in the 2016-17 California budget.  In early 2017, breakfast after the bell grant opportunities for these alternative models will be available to schools through the California Office of Education.  Check with your local school district to see if these alternative breakfast models could be an option for them.

We should all be concerned about the short and long-term impacts that hunger can have on the outcomes of children.  Join Second Harvest Food Bank in working towards a hunger-free community where all children have access to nutritious food.

Learn more about USDA School Breakfast Expansion Strategies here and read more about the history and policies behind the School Breakfast Program in a new report by WhyHunger here.

November Social Media Roundup

“Social Media Round-Up” is an ‘ICYMI’ compilation of the top hunger-related news articles and other interesting tidbits posted on our social media profiles.


“While the University of California system has worked to bring in more first-generation and “non-traditional” students, helping them stay, succeed and meet basic needs like getting enough food requires greater investment.”

We’ve partnered with San Jose State University to provide food to hungry students on campus. More than 500 students received fresh fruit, vegetables, canned food and other groceries at Monday’s mobile pantry visit. To qualify for the free service, students must be a current SJSU student with an annual income below $23,540.

Friday fun at the Food Bank! #sharethejoy #whereyoulive #abc7now #givewhatmatters #endhunger #mannequinchallenge #foodbanklife

A video posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on

“Unfortunately, hunger and malnutrition are pervasive in Silicon Valley, even with the soaring economy. It’s the new hunger paradigm. As the economy grows, so does the number of people who need food. That’s because the incredible economic growth we’ve seen in recent years is actually making it more difficult for low to moderate-wage earners to pay their bills and put food on the table.” Read our CEO Kathy Jackson’s Op-Ed in The Mercury News.

Our community nutritionists are big ‘nudgers’ too

*** Read our past Social Media Roundups.

Thanksgiving at Alice’s Restaurant

Each October through December, Second Harvest Food Bank is supported by more than 1,500 Food and Fund Drives, run by individuals, businesses and organizations. This three-month fundraising period helps raise 50% of the Food Bank’s annual operating costs, helping provide meals throughout the year to more than 250,000 people every month.

Alice's Restaurant

Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside has been hosting a unique Fund Drive over the years, offering up a delicious meal, with a twist.  Since 2008, they’ve hosted thousands on Thanksgiving Day, providing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to all who stop in, free of charge.  The idea was the brainchild of restaurant co-owners Andy, Jamie and Rose Kerr.

Jamie explains, “My brother and I have always been into giving. In 2008 the economy fell apart. We thought, instead of volunteering, there may be a way for us to utilize our location and our brand.  The idea was we can do something that had more of an impact if we had it in the restaurant. So the idea was that there would never be a charge for your meal on Thanksgiving.”  The Kerrs reach out to their own vendors for food donations, from turkeys to bread, all to help feed their neighbors for free on Thanksgiving, and collect money to support Second Harvest.

Jamie says, “You only leave what you could afford. So theoretically, if you had zero money, you could come in and feed yourself and your family and you could order anything you wanted and there was not a bill to be had. But, if someone has extra to give, then they would be more than willing to donate above what their dinner would have cost if they had been at a restaurant or cooked it at home.”

The idea caught fire and is now a tradition for many of the local families who live near the crossroads where the restaurant is located. Between the locals, the motorcyclists and cars full of hikers, Alice’s Restaurant will serve several hundred people throughout Thanksgiving Day. It’s not all about a turkey-dinner on Thanksgiving, either. Jamie says, “We open at 8 and close at 4. We also serve breakfast and lunch throughout the day. You can come in, have an omelet, go for a hike, and then go have dinner with your family. We offer a lot of different choices for people to come in, eat and donate.”

Over the past eight Thanksgiving Days, Alice’s Restaurant has raised nearly $100,000, all with the goal of helping feed people in our community. Jamie says, “People love the idea of having no bill. We have people that can’t afford to pay, so they eat for free. And, then, we’ve had people have a cup of coffee and leave a $100. It’s cool to have given that much. We’ll break the $100,000 mark this year, for sure. We’re really happy to be a partner with Second Harvest.”

If you’re looking for an alternative to cooking at home, and would like to give-back while you enjoy your Thanksgiving, be sure to give Alice’s Restaurant a try.

If you’d like to host your own Food and Fund Drive, click here for more information or call (866) 234-3663.

Meet Josh: Donor Relations Specialist

Have you ever called our Donor Hotline? Have you ever wondered about the voice on the other end? Heading in to the busy holiday season at Second Harvest, we’d like to introduce you to Josh Marcotte, our Donor Relations Specialist. Josh and his team of holiday staff are ready and waiting to help any donors who need assistance running a Food and Fund Drive, or making a donation.

What do you do at Second Harvest?
As the Donor Relations Specialist, I assist the community with setting up and hosting successful Food and Fund Drives. I manage the Donor Hotline and Donor Relations email box to ensure our donors have all of their questions answered. I also manage our holiday staff of Donor Relations Representatives, the friendly voices our donors hear when they give us a call.

Why are you in nonprofit work?
I am a firm believer that in this day and age, particularly for those of us lucky enough to call Silicon Valley home, we should all strive to give back to our community and the people that make our valley a wonderful place to live.

What inspires you?
I see inspiration all around me in life. I am inspired by the everyday and the mysterious beauty that hides away in the ordinary things we see. I am inspired by my son and his endless curiosity. I am inspired by wife and her endless dedication to anything she takes on. I am inspired by art and music and books and the friends I have that bring so much creation into the world by crafting these things.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to spend time with my family. I like to travel and enjoy roadside kitsch and long drives down empty roads. I like listening to music at unhealthy volumes. I am constantly taking and sharing photos online or in galleries, and it’s rare to see me without a camera. I am passionate about history and preservation, and am actively involved in local preservation efforts.

What’s something quirky about you?
I like to dig for odds and ends and overlooked gems at local flea markets. Over the years I have collected enough pieces of local history, photography equipment, advertising, oddities, and other miscellaneous debris to fill a small museum.

What has surprised you the most about working at Second Harvest?
I am surprised by the endless capacity of people to give back and work toward the greater good of the community. Every day I am surrounded by people working hard to help others. There is no shortage of dedication and inspiration here from the staff, our donors, and our volunteers.

***Are you ready to help feed our neighbors in need? Call Josh and his team at (866) 234-3663 or visit

Nutrition Newbie: Going Back to Mindful Eating

“Nutrition Newbie” is a series focused on basic nutrition information and tips.

Special Blog Post By: Diana Garcia, Nutrition Education Coordinator, Santa Clara County

Our eating habits have changed throughout the years and part of it is due to the introduction of new technology, the business of our lives, and the way our modern world works.

It is common to find people eating in front of the computer, with a smart phone in their hands, biting on a sandwich while driving, or multi-tasking while having a meal. For many of us, this has become the new normal. What else can we do if there are so many activities to fit in our day?

Unfortunately when we add distractions to our meals, we are missing out on the real pleasure of eating. It is easier to ignore our bodily cues for fullness and our relationship with food changes. The good news is that there are many ways we can get back to eating while completely being engaged in the experience.

Reserve time and space for your meals: At work, at home, at school, or anywhere else, try to block a regular special time to eat. Walk away from distractions and find a place that is comfortable, clean, and makes you feel good. If possible, enlist someone to join you for lunch or any other meal. Research shows that eating with other people enhances your sense of wellbeing.

Turn your attention to your body: Ask yourself about the emotions associated at the time of eating. Am I hungry? Am I stressed? Am I bored? This will help you understand your bodily cues and the reasons behind your desire to eat. This is especially true when snacking, as some of us reach for food for a reason other than hunger. Lastly, honor your fullness. If you are completely immersed in your eating experience, you are more likely to stop eating when you feel satisfied.

Enjoy the special qualities of food: One of the benefits of eating while being completely present is that we enjoy our food more. We can pay attention to the taste, texture, and other qualities of food that we usually ignore if distractions are involved. The next time you eat, try closing your eyes and pay attention to the special qualities of your food. This mindfulness exercise may surprise you!

As part of our nutrition education program, “mindful and intuitive eating” is becoming a very relevant part of the presentations and the interactions that we have with clients. When we eat with intention, we enjoy our food more and are more likely to eat foods that are right for us. With the holidays coming up, this is especially important since food is a main component of our celebrations.

***Catch up on our past Nutrition Newbie posts.

Special Events and Promos Benefiting Second Harvest

‘Tis the season of giving! Thanks to the many community groups and local businesses that are supporting our work and helping our neighbors in need this holiday season.

Here’s a list of special events and promotions benefiting the Food Bank (we’ll be adding more as we hear about them, so please check back often):

Food and Fund Drives

  • Safeway and NBC Bay Area’s “Feed the Need” Drive – Support Bay Area food banks by purchasing a $10 specially produced shopping bag filled with items that food banks need the most at 155 Safeway locations throughout the Bay Area, now through 12/27.
  • Lucky and  FoodMaxx “Give. Share. CARE!” Drive – From 11/15 through 12/27, donate at your local Lucky or FoodMaxx store.  At check-out, you’ll see meal coupons ($2 feeds one person breakfast; $3 feeds one person for lunch; $5 feeds on person for dinner) that you can tear-off and hand to the cashier. 100% of all donations will go to the local food bank assigned to each store.
  • 96.5 KOIT Stuff-A-Bus – Bring your non-perishable food items and help stuff a SamTrans Bus at this annual event at the Shops At Tanforan in San Bruno on Saturday, 11/12, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • 99.7 Now’s “Fernando and Greg in the Morning!” – Join Fernando and Greg at the Safeway Store in Willow Glen on Friday, 11/18, from 6 a.m.-10 a.m. and bring canned goods for our neighbors in need!
  • Scouting for Food – In the Bay Area, more than 30,000 Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and their supporters will be “Scouting for Food” by picking up boxed or bagged nonperishable food items for local food banks placed on doorsteps by 9 a.m. on Saturday, 11/19.


  • RAGA^N Dance Fundraiser, 11/12, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. – Enjoy a performance by RAGA^N (Raama, Ajay, Geeta, Akshay, Nitin) – all musically talented high schoolers – In Union City to support their fundraiser to help fight local hunger! More info.
  • Cranksgiving San Jose, 11/13 – San Jose’s first Cranksgiving is happening this year! Part bike ride, part food drive, part scavenger hunt, this community event has been held annually in New York City since 1999 and now there are nearly 80 independently organized events across the globe.  Get more info and register.
  • Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, 11/24 – Start Thanksgiving Day off on the right foot at the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot.” It’s an event the whole family will enjoy! Many have made the “run” or “walk” a Thanksgiving Day tradition. Register today!
  • San Jose Barracuda “Star Wars Night”, 11/25, 6 p.m. – Get 50% off tickets to the 11/25 San Jose Barracuda vs. Bakersfield Condors game by using the promo code “FOOD”! There will be Second Harvest Food Bank food collection barrels at the game, so be sure to bring non-perishable food items to donate. Purchase tickets.
  • Santana Row’s Holiday Open House & Wine Stroll, 12/6, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. – Enjoy wine tastings inside Santana Row shops, carolers, hot chocolate and more. Plus, a visit and photos with Santa! Bring a donation of canned food on the night of the event and be entered to win a $250 Santana Row gift card. Customers must be 21 years or older to attend this event. Purchase your tickets online or inside the Santana Row Concierge.
  • United with Santa, 12/10-12/11, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Free two-day family festival hosted by United Wholesale Flowers benefiting local charities. Activities include: Free Picture with Santa, Kids Make & Take Flower. Crafts & Christmas Stories, Santa’s Village Carnival, Open Floral Design Studio (gifts for nursing homes), Adult Monthly Floral Design Workshop, and more! More info.

Shopping, Dining, and Other Promotions

  • MOD Pizza – From 11/22 to 11/27, for every pizza sold at a participating MOD Pizza location, the MOD Squad will donate $1.00 to us! Participating locations in San Jose include:
    Coleman Landings, 530 Newhall Dr.; Village Oaks, 5670 Cottle Rd; and Westgate West, 5263 Prospect Rd.
  • Crate & Barrel – From 11/1-12/31, Crate & Barrel will be accepting monetary donations from customers at the register. Every customer who donates $5.00 will receive a holiday CD. Donations generated at the stores in Palo Alto and San Jose will be split between Feeding America and us.
  • Elephant Bar (Daly City and Burlingame locations) – Elephant Bar is holding its “Dine Out to Help Out” fundraiser from 12/1 to 12/24.  A portion of the proceeds from a three-course prix-fixe dinner ($20 for an appetizer, main course, and dessert) will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank!
  • AmazonSmile is an easy and automatic way to support Second Harvest Food Bank. Every time you shop at AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible purchases to the Food Bank. You’ll find the exact same low prices and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus of helping our neighbors in need.

Matching Gifts

  • Dave Severns Memorial Golf Tournament – Every year, the Severns Foundation hosts a golf tournament in honor of Dave Severns, a devoted supporter of Second Harvest Food Bank. This year, the Dave Severns Memorial Golf Tournament crossed the $100,000 mark in total funds raised for the Food Bank! Now through 12/31, all donations up to $500 each made on the Dave Severns Memorial Golf Tournament donation page will be matched, up to $25,000.
  • Feeding America’s Give A Meal Program – With the help of Bank of America, your holiday gift can help us provide twice as many meals for our neighbors in need. Donate to Feeding America’s Give A Meal program through 12/31 and Bank of America will match every $1 with an additional $2! BoA will only match a total of $1,000 per donor.  Donate online.

***Do you know about other special events and promotions benefiting the Food Bank? Please share them in the comments section below.

October Social Media Roundup

“Social Media Round-Up” is a compilation of the top hunger-related news articles and other interesting tidbits posted on our social media profiles.

  • California’s Extreme Economy Creates a New Class of ‘Poor’, CSMONITOR.COM
  • “The struggles of working families to make ends meet amid rising housing and child care costs is well known. The Census Bureau has even put a name on it: the supplemental poor. And California has a supplemental poor problem.”

  • 1 in 5 U.S. Households With Kids Don’t Have Enough to Eat, HUFFINGTONPOST.COM
  • “There are nearly 7 million children between the ages of 10 and 17 in America who struggle with hunger, per the Feeding America study.”

  • Why Does California Have the Nation’s Highest Poverty Rate?, FORBES.COM
  • “Because the Official Poverty Measure excludes the high cost of living on the coasts, it undercounts poverty in California and New York while exaggerating poverty throughout much of the South and Midwest.”

  • FDA is Redefining the Term ‘Healthy’ on Food Labels, NPR.ORG
  • “As our understanding about nutrition has evolved, we need to make sure the definition for the ‘healthy’ labeling claim stays up to date.”

  • When a Job’s Not Enough to Get You Off Food Stamps, WWW2.KQED.ORG
  • “Ever since spending on food stamps went up during the recession — when the number of people using the program spiked — some lawmakers have been pushing for cutbacks.”

  • Sending Potatoes to Idaho? How the Free Market Can Fight Poverty, NYTIMES.COM
  • “Yet food banks, the organizations at the forefront of the fight against hunger, haven’t given up on free markets at all — to the contrary, they are increasingly relying on them. How this unlikely marriage happened, and what it teaches us about markets, is an important story.”

  • Majority of College Kids Go Hungry – Even With Jobs and Financial Aid, TAKEPART.COM
  • “Despite receiving student loans and maintaining paying jobs, nearly half of all college students lack a sufficient food resource.”

  • California’s Housing Crisis Puts Squeeze on Employers and Their Workforce, CAECONOMY.ORG
  • “With one in four Californians struggling economically, rental rates keep rising and incomes overall are falling. This is putting a strain on California’s workforce, especially on low-income residents, but also those in the middle-income range.”

    Oooh, beautiful bell peppers in our warehouse! #greenbellpepper #nutrition #healthyeating #endhunger #foodbanklife A photo posted by Second Harvest Food Bank (@2ndharvest) on Oct 20, 2016 at 4:43pm PDT

  • How One Small Change Got More Students Eating Breakfast Regularly, UPWORTHY.COM
  • “Out of over 21 million students who qualify for a school breakfast, only 54% actually take advantage of it. Why? Well, for many of these students, there’s a certain stigma that comes along with it.”

  • Emergency Preparedness Can Be the Difference Between Life and Death, MERCURYNEWS.COM
  • Good emergency preparedness tips. Also like the tip about updating emergency kits every six months and donating food items with impending expiration dates to us.

  • The Reason This Mom Has to Pack Two School Lunches Reveals a Nationwide Problem, ATTN.COM
  • A Mother’s Heartbreaking Video About School Lunches Reveals America’s Problem of Child Hunger

  • Food Bank Education, WW2.KQED.ORG
  • “My teenage students weren’t enthusiastic as we battled morning traffic. They were happy to skip class but this food bank volunteering thing had gotten old. Their attitude: People are hungry. Yeah. Why do we have to fix it?”

    *** Read past Social Media Roundups.

    Bring Us Your Frozen Turkeys


    We need your help getting turkeys so that local pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters that rely on us for food can provide their clients with a traditional holiday meal. Our turkey goal this year is 19,000. Chickens and ham are great too, but we don’t have a specific goal for those.

    Frozen turkey, frozen chicken, and non-perishable food (check out our most-needed foods list) donations can be dropped off at any one of our three locations during these special holiday hours:

    • Bing Center, 1051 Bing Street, San Carlos, CA 94070, Phone: (650) 610-0800

    Food Donation Dock Hours

    Regular Holiday Dock Hours
    November 7 – December 30 (Mon – Fri) – 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

    Special Dock Hours and Closures
    The dock is closed on Saturdays and Sundays unless otherwise indicated.
    November 12 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    November 19 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    November 21 – 23 (Mon – Wed) – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    November 24 – 25 (Thurs – Friday) – CLOSED
    December 3 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 10 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 17 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 23 – 26 (Fri – Mon) – CLOSED
    December 27 – 30 (Tues – Fri) – 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    January 2 (Monday) – CLOSED

    Click here for Lobby Hours at Bing Center.

    • Curtner Center, 750 Curtner Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125, Phone: (408) 266-8866

    Food Donation Dock Hours

    Regular Holiday Dock Hours
    November 7 – December 30 (Mon – Fri) – 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

    Special Dock Hours and Closures
    The dock is closed on Saturdays and Sundays unless otherwise indicated.
    November 12 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    November 19 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    November 20 (Sunday) – 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    November 24 – 25 (Thurs – Fri) – CLOSED
    December 3 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 10 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 17 (Saturday) – 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    December 23 – 26 (Fri – Mon) – CLOSED
    December 27 – 30 (Tues – Fri) – 8 a.m.– 5 p.m.
    January 2 (Monday) – CLOSED

    Click here for Lobby Hours at Curtner Center.

    • Cypress Center, 4001 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95134, Phone: (408) 266-8866

    There isn’t a Food Donation Dock at our Cypress Center. Click here for Lobby Hours.

    Other Ways to Give

    • To make an online donation, visit
    • To make a credit card donation over the phone, please call our Donor Hotline at (866) 234-3663 (see lobby hours).

    Thank you for helping us provide holiday meals to our neighbors in need!

    Local Hunger Fighters: Nu Knickerbocker

    “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 Fighter: Nu Knickerbocker, Front Desk Receptionist, Salvation Army in San Jose

    How are you helping Second Harvest Food Bank and our community?
    Here at the Salvation Army, we are trying to help our community by teaming up with workers from Second Harvest to help our community members get extra help and resources that Second Harvest can help them qualify for.

    I work in the Family Service Department. My job is to help community members register clients for our food pantry. I love what I do because I help fill empty stomachs and I get to be of service to those in need. Sometimes I have to wear multiple hats. For example, when we are short on volunteers, I help with the distribution of food – I help people sign up to make sure everyone leaves with food on their hands and make sure the bread is fully stacked so it’s available to anyone who needs it.  I also collaborate with Second Harvest Food Bank staff and Social Services Eligibility Worker to help our clients access more food resources and meet their nutritional needs.

    What inspires you to give?
    Helping others comes natural to me. My philosophy is to always try my best and to treat others with dignity and respect just like I would want to be treated. So if someone needs some kind of help, I try my best to help or give what I can. I feel that when you help others, it becomes contagious.

    Why should people care about hunger in our community?
    I think people should care about hunger in our community because being hungry is nothing to be happy about. Housing costs and the cost to just survive and live here in the Bay Area is a lot, and having to worry whether you have enough money to eat after all that is tough.

    Why do you support Second Harvest?
    I support Second Harvest because they are doing a lot of good for our community. They make it easier for community members to find resources that help supplement their needs.

    ***Meet more of your neighbors helping us build a hunger-free community.