San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed joined Second Harvest CEO Kathy Jackson to unveil the new building

On September 5, we revealed the newly renovated Cypress Center at 4001 North First Street in San Jose.  More than 200 guests including San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Cypress Semiconductor CEO T.J. Rodgers gathered to celebrate the Food Bank’s newest addition.  This building, coupled with a retooled produce distribution model and streamlined operations, will enable Second Harvest to distribute significantly more, and fresher, food to the community.

“The generous ‘over-and-above’ gifts we received from longtime Food Bank supporters, including the building and funds to renovate it, are helping Second Harvest to significantly improve our efficiency,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “As one of the few food banks in the country that does not charge for the food we provide, we have to work smarter to address the still-growing need, while offsetting challenges like rising food prices. Our new dedicated distribution model is reducing the number of food ‘touches’, increasing inventory turns, and getting food out into the community faster.”

Cypress Center

Cypress Semiconductor donated the 75,000-square-foot building and surrounding five acres, with an estimated value of $9 million, to Second Harvest in April 2011. After a major renovation of what was once a research and development facility for Cypress, the Food Bank opened its doors at Cypress Center in April of this year. Second Harvest continues to operate out of our two other facilities – on Curtner Avenue in San Jose and Bing Street in San Carlos.

Cypress CEO T.J. Rodgers cuts the ribbon to the renovated facility. Rodgers is joined by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Second Harvest Board President Norm Taffe, and members of the Cypress Executive Team.

“With its central location on North First, the new facility will also allow us to broaden our connection with the community by actively engaging volunteers from our many corporate neighbors, as well as developing volunteer opportunities for families with children,” Jackson said.  All Santa Clara County volunteer food sorting activities now take place at Cypress Center.

The new facility and operational changes are expected to increase Second Harvest’s capacity by more than 50 percent over the next four years, from 46 million pounds of food to more than 69 million pounds of food distributed annually. Much of this growth will be attributed to fruits and vegetables, which can be kept fresh in Cypress Center’s 8,000-square-foot cooler.

Pat Ybarra, Second Harvest Director of Operations and Logistics, shows guests around the 8,000-square-foot produce-packed refrigerator

“The increase in the amount of fresh produce Second Harvest distributes is consistent with our focus on nutrition,” Jackson said. “We have evolved far beyond providing just the rice, beans, and other shelf-stable commodities that previously filled our warehouse shelves. The Food Bank is determined to scale our operations, improve the nutritional content, and drive down the cost per pound of food we distribute, increasing our overall impact in the community.”

If you would like to see Cypress Center for yourself, please sign up for a tour or register to volunteer. You will also find photos from the event on our Flickr page.

Thank you for growing with us!