APTOS—In Santa Cruz County, one in four children are considered food insecure, a number Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Willy Elliott‑McCrea called “staggering” and “unacceptable.”
The growing numbers of hungry people who struggle to feed themselves and their families was the impetus – and the backdrop – for the food bank’s annual Holiday Food & Fund Drive and Kickoff Luncheon, an event that serves as a call to arms of the two-month effort.
The event at Twin Lakes Church Thursday drew hundreds of people from throughout the county.
Soon, donation barrels will appear at locations throughout the county, where people can place food to be distributed to dozens of programs and services throughout the county.
“There is nothing we can’t do when we truly come together as a community,” McCrea said.
Last year, SHFB reached its goal of raising 4.8 million meals and is keeping that goal this year.
“Unfortunately, the high cost of living in Santa Cruz County continues to strain people’s budgets and a large number of individuals and working families need to rely on help from The Food Bank,” McCrea said. “For those of us who are a little more fortunate, it’s a great time to come together and help those who are struggling with food insecurity.”