Feeding OC

By on Jul 6, 2022 in Giving

Yardi is committed to supporting the community in every city where our offices are housed. Each year, the company distributes philanthropic aid to organizations selected by its employees.

In 2021, Yardi offices supported more than 350 nonprofits worldwide. For the remainder of the year, we will be bringing you the stories of those organizations and insight into how they aid their communities.

Today, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in Irvine, Calif. is in the spotlight. Second Harvest’s mission is to end hunger in Orange County. The organization works with a network of more than 250 partners, including places of worship, schools, senior centers, homeless shelters and others to provide  healthy food and to help build their capacity to receive and distribute nutritious food.

Additionally, Second Harvest operates key programs aimed at providing much-needed food to vulnerable populations. These core hunger-relief programs include Mobile Pantry; Mobile and Permanent School Pantries, and College Pantry; Kids Cafe, Senior Grocery, and Park-It Market.

“The goal of our hunger-relief efforts is to provide a safety net to the people we serve. We know these families are not relying solely on Second Harvest for their meals; rather, we provide support to help those struggling to make ends meet and offset their expenses, ensuring their limited funds can be spent on other needs, such as rent, gas, bills, medication,” said Megan Hunker, Donor Relations Manager for Second Harvest.

In fiscal year 2022, which concluded in April, Second Harvest distributed almost 36 million pounds of food to an average of 331,000 people per month.

Nutrition support for those in need

“We believe that providing dignified, equitable and consistent access to nutritious food creates a foundation for community health and is a catalyst for societal transformation,” stated Hunker. “This coming year we are focused on purchasing nutritious food items like eggs, milk, and protein items and growing produce at our Harvest Solutions Farm.”

Families like Victor and Elizabeth’s are among those served. Victor, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and his wife, Elizabeth, face challenging times. When Victor suddenly faced a serious health challenge, Elizabeth had no choice but to quit her job and take care of him.

As a result, they live off a fixed income that barely makes ends meet; some months the ends never meet at all. “Second Harvest are angels in disguise,” says Elizabeth. “If it were not for the food bank, we would have an even harder time.”

Yardi’s funds support Second Harvest general operations, “which gives us great flexibility to use the donation where it is needed most such as purchasing nutritious food, building out partnership capacity and more,” Hunker said.

“Yardi’s support came at a time during COVID when many distribution sites shut down, un/under employment skyrocketed, and the supply chain took a hit. The funds donated by Yardi helped Second Harvest meet the increased need as we completely shifted our operations and started purchasing the majority of the food that was being distributed,” Hunker explained.

Volunteer opportunities in Orange County

Second Harvest currently offers two in-person volunteer opportunities. One opportunity is in the Distribution Center (DC), Monday-Friday with morning and evening shifts available. Volunteers in the DC assist in a variety of projects that help sort and process food to send out.

The second opportunity is at Harvest Solutions Farm, Tuesday-Saturday with morning shifts available. Volunteers help plant, harvest, weed and maintain the fields of the Harvest Solutions Farm located just down the road from the food bank in Irvine, Calif.

Second Harvest started a 45-acre farm in partnership with OC Produce and AG Kawamura at University of California’s SCREC. At Harvest Solutions Farm, they grow seasonal crops, including cabbage, broccoli, celery, bell peppers, watermelon, and squash, to provide over 2 million pounds of fresh produce to the community each year.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities, please visit: https://feedoc.org/get-involved/#volunteer

To learn more about Second Harvest, visit https://feedoc.org and find future non-profit profiles at https://www.yardi.com/blog/category/giving.