San Francisco 49ers president and CEO Jed York announced his part in this holiday season's Second Harvest Food Bank's Holiday Food and Fund Drive. York will help celebrate the season of giving by co-chairing this year's drive, along with Mike Klayko, CEO of Brocade, in which they hope to raise $11.3 million and 11.6 million pounds of food. The drive got off to a great start with a kick-off event on Wednesday at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
Too many local families and individuals don't get enough to eat. One out of every 10 of our neighbors will be receiving food from Second Harvest Food Bank this holiday season. The Food Bank currently feeds about 250,000 people in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties every month.
"Even in the heart of the Silicon Valley, which prides itself on collaboration and innovation, hunger has become a serious problem in our surrounding community," York said. "People who never thought they would need help are now turning to Second Harvest Food Bank for assistance. We are fortunate to live in a community where people work together and help each other prosper, so it's only fitting that our local corporations get involved and help those who are less fortunate."
Three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowler Guy McIntyre was also on hand to support the local effort at the kick-off event.
"Everybody in here is able to go out and do something in their community," McIntyre said. "Many hands make light work, so let us all pitch in a hand and make light work by helping somebody during the holidays. During these hard times, we can all help somebody together."
The food drive is critical because nothing else matters when you're hungry – you can't concentrate, you can't learn, you can't work, you can't get through the day. Nutritious food is the cornerstone of a healthy, productive life.
"Hunger is unacceptable in this community," Klayko said. "I'm proud to team up with the San Francisco 49ers and serve as the co-chair of the 2011 Holiday Food and Fund Drive, and I encourage everyone to support Second Harvest Food Bank's hunger-fighting efforts this season by running a food drive at your office, making a personal contribution or becoming a sponsor. Please join our team to end hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties."
While Second Harvest feeds the hungry all year long, many people think about hunger during the holidays. Second Harvest raises half its revenues during the Holiday Fund and Food Drive.
"Second Harvest Food Bank has managed to meet the rising need for food despite the growing challenges," said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. "We depend on the generous support of the community to make sure our neighbors have enough to eat. Every dollar donated to the Food Bank provides two meals. It is unacceptable that in a wealthy community like ours, 1 in 4 people are struggling to put food on the table."
Corporations, organizations and individuals can give what matters by hosting a food drive or donating to Second Harvest Food Bank this holiday season. To get involved, visit www.shfb.org. You can also donate online or by calling 866.234.3663.