Special Blog Post By: Kayla Haley, Community Relations & Events Associate at Second Harvest Food Bank

Our partners play a vital role in distributing food to community members in need. Every year we bring this network together for a day of learning and networking. It is an opportunity for them to connect with each other and learn about community resources to help their clients. The Harvest of Knowledge Partner Conferences took place on March 28, 2014 in Santa Clara County and April 4, 2014 in San Mateo County. The theme of this year’s conferences was “Together we can do more,” with an emphasis on attendees joining with their peers to learn new ways to serve their clients better.

Conference attendees started off their morning with a fun activity break set to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” to get their blood pumping and their minds working before heading on to the workshops. Workshop topics included pantry best practices, managing volunteers, communication techniques, fundraising, nutrition for children, and more!

In addition to the workshops, the conferences also give Second Harvest a chance to honor some of our exceptional partners in the fight against hunger. The partner awards for each county are determined based on the characteristics of exceptional communication, collaboration, and the willingness to do more. This year’s winners are:

Outstanding Grocery Rescue Partner Awards
Santa Clara: St. Joseph’s Family Center
San Mateo: Edgewood Center Pantry

Exemplary Partner Awards

Santa Clara:
St. Justin’s Community Ministry
Logos Christian Fellowship Food Pantry

San Mateo:
St. Francis Center
Mid-Peninsula Hispanic Outreach Ministry / Latinos Unidos en Cristo

Two very special awards – the McCown-Takalo Anti-Hunger Advocacy Awards – are given to an individual in each county who has been a long-term advocate in the fight against hunger. These awards are based on the characteristics of honesty, integrity, tenacity, and compassion. The individuals must also put the needs of clients first and serve as a spokesperson for the underserved. This year the honorees are:

McCown-Takalo Anti-Hunger Advocacy Awards
Santa Clara: Jimmy Ancira, Our Lady of Guadalupe Food Program

San Mateo: Bonnie Miller, The Salvation Army – Redwood City

Thank you to everyone who attended! The Harvest of Knowledge Partner Conferences would not have been possible without our sponsors – Applied Materials and Oracle. Thank you for helping us provide a free day of workshops and networking for our partners and for supporting the mission of Second Harvest.

***To see some of the presentations from workshop presenters, visit SHFB.org/conference.