SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The work starts early in the morning for food bank volunteers in San Jose who know some 450,000 people are relying on their service to put food on the table this holiday season.

“We continue to serve 80% more people than we were serving pre-pandemic. Second Harvest is providing twice as much food,” CEO Leslie Bacho said.

Heading into Thanksgiving, Second Harvest CEO Leslie Bacho says she anticipates the organization distributing 22% more turkey’s this holiday, compared to last.

“We are really dependent on volunteers and financial support to make this huge operation happen,” Bacho said.

An operation that has expanded in the past 20 months. It has added 15 more trucks, opened a new warehouse and increased its staff by 40%.

At the same time, it has ended its traditional food collection drives with barrels to be more efficient.

Bacho says Second Harvest has enough food but needs volunteers and monetary donations.

“For every dollar donated, we can source enough food for two meals,” Bacho said.

Bacho says the food bank typically raises about half of its revenue during the holidays.

This as the organization set a fundraising goal of $81-million this year to meet the community’s growing needs.

“I hate it when I see parents have to choose between, ‘do I feed my child? Or, do I pay my electrical bill?’ So, this, I really definitely see makes a huge difference,” volunteer Amy Hansen said. 

A difference magnified during the holidays.