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How It Works


We provide food to local charities throughout the county who distribute food to those in need. We work with hundreds of community partners throughout Orange County including:

  • Community Resource Centers
  • Mobile and Permanent School Pantries
  • Church Pantries
  • Senior Centers
  • Kids Cafes and Summer Meal Programs

Food Bank Basics

When you donate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, you take a powerful stand in the fight against hunger. We serve charity organizations, who in turn, feed more than 250,000 hungry people in Orange County every month. Here is how it works:

Food & Funds

Every dollar you donate can help us provide the equivalent of three meals for the hungry. The majority of our food is donated through restaurants, grocery stores, food manufacturers, farmers, growers and packers, Feeding America, the USDA, and corporate and individual food drives.


Our adult volunteers (ages 18 and up) sort donated food and check everything for quality and safety. Children (7-13) and their parents package food at Kids Corner. We had more than 24,000 volunteers last year, and welcome individuals and groups.

Please note: We are so grateful for the amazing volunteer turnout over the holidays! However, we are in urgent need of volunteers the rest of the year, especially in January, February and March. You can find more information here.

The Food Distribution Center

After our food is checked for safety it is put into our inventory system and is available to our non-profit community partners. They can either come into our food distribution center or order food on-line. Organizations can either pick up their products or have their order delivered directly to their location.

Partner Organizations & Programs

Through a network of more than 300 community and program partners distributing food in every city throughout the county, Second Harvest feeds more than 250,000 individuals each month. Our community partners are non-profit organizations such as shelters, churches, homes for battered and abused women and children and local pantries. As a vital link between the food industry and agencies that feed those at-risk of hunger, Second Harvest has distributed a total of more than 446 million pounds of food, or the equivalent of 379 million meals, to the hungry in Orange County.


It is currently estimated that 9.2% of Orange County residents, or more than 290,000 people, struggle with hunger in Orange County. Children and seniors make up 50% of those in need of food assistance. Families who once were able to contribute to their community are now finding themselves out of work and in need of a hand up to make ends meet. Others are making less than they used to and often have to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table. Seniors and others on fixed incomes face tough choices too. All of these people can now turn to their local pantry for food assistance.