SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – It is a farmers market for those experiencing food insecurity in the South Bay.
Food bank organizers say they are doing their best to meet the needs of the community, but the volunteers tell KRON4 they sure could use a little help.
These volunteers with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley are here at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose continuing the effort to fight food insecurity in the South Bay. At the end of 2021 continuing into the New Year, the food bank served on an average 400,000 people per month.
Leslie Bacho, CEO of Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, told KRON4 “in March we saw that number grow to four-hundred-seventy thousand. That’s because of inflation and food and fuel prices. for so many low-income households that’s a large part of your budget. so, when those prices go up, that’s when people start to make tough choices about not being able to put food on the table. that’s why we’ve seen such an increase in need.”
Food bank volunteers are also running low these days. Here, there’s about a dozen volunteers lending a hand.
Volunteer Scott Peterson says “they had a short supply of volunteers and if I could volunteer for them and I said absolutely.”
In addition to having the option to pick and choose from the fresh produce, poultry, dairy, and other food products at this farmers market walk-up style distribution site, food bank clients also receive nutrition education and recipes.
Media relations associate of Second Harvest Food Bank Diane Baker Hayward told KRON4, “(we) show our clients, who are waiting to pick up their food, how to actually prepare meals with some of the food they’ll be receiving.”
Food distribution coordinator Emiko Pereyra describes the community as “primarily a low-income community from the East side. It’s a beautiful community.”
That is the primary reason Pereyra is here.
She said, “coming into this job and this program specifically gives me the need of satisfaction within me as a person. I grew up very poor and just to know that if there was something like this when I was growing up, I know my family would have taken advantage of it. So, just to be part of something like this that’s beyond me, it’s very humbling for me and very amazing for me to do this.”
The farmers market style Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley distribution program happens here at the plaza on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month.
Bacho explains, “if you’d like to get involved, please go to our website at shfb.org and you can find out how to volunteer, how to donate or how to get connected with food if you need help.”
Food bank volunteer Lisa Inzunza told KRON4, “there’s a lot of people in need. The food makes a huge difference in their family, and nobody should go hungry.”