The holidays are typically a strong time for fundraising here at Second Harvest Food Bank. But this year is turning out to be different. The number of donors and total gifts we’ve received are both down from last year, so we are turning to you with a plea for help.

Here’s a special note from Leslie Bacho, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank:

As people’s attention turns to the holidays and spending time with their families, we ask they also keep those less fortunate families in mind, who don’t have enough to eat. With rent and living costs in Silicon Valley continuing to rise, people who used to be getting by are becoming food insecure. We are counting on the public to give over the holidays, as they have so many times in the past to help those who are going hungry.

We’re asking for our supporters to help with donations and with spreading the word that we need help. I know that this time of year in particular people want to give back. Second Harvest is a trusted way for anyone to make a gift and be confident it will help provide families, children, elders and others with the food they need. I trust people will realize that a holiday gift to us is really a gift to our neighbors in need.

We still need to raise an additional $8 million to meet our $16.5 million goal for the holiday campaign. Our holiday campaign is critical to the Food Bank, as we raise half of our operating budget for the entire year. We count on the generosity of our supporters when it comes time to make end-of-year gifts and we’re surprised to see fewer individuals making fewer gifts. We still don’t know what is driving the decrease in donations, but we do know it has been a year with many natural disasters requiring everyone’s help, including the tragic fires here in California. We also know that this is a generous community, and we are hoping you can step up to ensure that everyone has access to the healthy food they need.

Every donation helps. And we need those donations to add up to continue expanding our services to help those in need.

Please pitch in what you can today. Donate here.