The Second Harvest Food Bank serves 260,000 people in the Bay Area every month.
But folks there say there are lots more people they could help feed.
A weekly food share event at Sunset Ridge Elementary School in Pacifica feels more like a Farmer’s Market or a community potluck than a food pantry pick up center.
All the food here is free for anyone in the school district.
Leslie Bacho, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, which donates to this food share, says it’s a way for them to reach people who need help, but are afraid to ask.
“People don’t realize in this affluent County that one in three kids are at risk for hunger. One of the biggest challenges for food banks is just getting people to walk through the door for the first time.. there is a stigma. We will talk to families that are maybe skipping meals or resorting to fast food or watering down the milk they are doing all these different coping mechanisms but the thought of going to a food pantry just seems too hard to bear… they think that it’s only for people who are really bad off so we are trying to create a welcoming event that is friendly and makes it seem like we are all in this together,” said Bacho.
Parents and grandparents of students here and people living in the community have been showing up in droves.
“I get yellow pepper, which is good for the salads,” said Anna Sansano, parent of a first grader.
Sansano says the free food has really helped her family’s tight monthly budget.
“It really helps, the cost of living here is so expensive,” Sansano said.
Having all these free fruits and vegetables on campus is having another positive effect.
Some of the students are eating healthier, too.
“On Thursdays the students come running out, they can’t wait for the free snacks they are trying fruits and vegetables they have never tried before, they are having a new experience,” said Sarah Watanabe, teacher at Sunset Ridge School.
This food share event will continue weekly, trying to improve the diets and budgets of the people in this community.
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