“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: Chiaki Crossman, Brown Bag and Family Harvest Programs Volunteer

How are you helping Second Harvest and our community?

I am providing support for two programs: Brown Bag, for elderly people, and Family Harvest, for families with children under 18 years old. Both programs have a membership system so I do administrative work to conduct both programs smoothly. I update member information in the database, issue membership cards, and renew memberships. As a part of this work, I mainly devote my time to food count reconsolidation. We need to know how much food we provided at each site, and from that number, we need to predict how much food we should order the next month. So I need to figure out those numbers from each site’s monthly report. Besides this, I help with customer service at the front desk. I greet people who donate food or money and issue receipts if necessary, provide information about how to get food, and hand out emergency food.

What inspires you to give?

Coming from a relatively economically rich country, Japan, I was shocked to see the difference in the standards of living in this area. Silicon Valley is the capital of the computer industry, so people come for its name value and variety of job opportunities from across the country or all around the world. Although there are many successful rich people here, there are so many people who are earning minimum wage. This is a place where the American dream and grim reality coexist. As a very fortunate immigrant who has the time to care about others, I wanted to support people who need help.

Why should people care about hunger in our community?

Because food is the source of energy and nutrition! If you are hungry, you can’t go get a job to earn money, or you can’t go to school to learn something you need to know. Food is very essential, especially providing enough nutrition to our children, our next generation, to establish a better future for our community. Let’s make Silicon Valley not only an IT empire, but also the place where people can have a fulfilling life.

Why do you support Second Harvest?

My biggest dream is to feed all hungry children around the world. But, of course, the things I can do is very limited. So I started with the things I can do first: helping to feed people locally. Even in the Second Harvest office, what I am doing now is a very small part, but I feel a connection to the people in our community. Second Harvest is a place that connects people who need help and people who want to help. That’s why I support Second Harvest.

***Read past Local Hunger Fighters posts and meet more of our neighbors working to end hunger in our community.