With the help of our supporters and volunteers, Second Harvest Food Bank works through a network of hundreds of partner agencies and programs to provide nutritious food to more than 400,000 hungry children, seniors and families in Orange County every month.
Child Hunger Strategy
Children are our future and we work diligently to fight childhood hunger through our Kids Cafe and Permanent and Mobile School Pantry Programs.
When school is out, ALL kids under 18 can get free meals at select Kids Cafe sites. Click here for information on where to find a location near you.
It is our mission to help feed children when they need it most, after-school, during the summer months, and on weekends – any time that school is not in session.
Our Kids Cafe Program provides healthy, delicious meals more than 10,000 children every month at locations in Orange County. These locations are in low-income neighborhoods where the number of children who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch at public schools can be as high as 99%. In the summer, we provide lunch and a snack so children never have to go hungry.
We operate two models of the School Pantry Program – a Mobile Program and a Permanent Program. Our Mobile School Pantry brings food to schools in underserved neighborhoods. Here the local volunteers set up the fresh produce in a farmers market-style distribution at 18 schools in Orange County each month, reaching over 200 families each time.
Our first Permanent School Pantry, called the Lion’s Den, was piloted in late 2015 at Lincoln Elementary School in Anaheim. We now have a second Permanent School Pantry, the Mercado El Sol at El Sol Science and Art Academy in Santa Ana. In December 2017 the La Colonia Market located in the Anaheim Independencia Family Resource Center opened. It was created in collaboration with Community Action Partnership, which operates Orange County Food Bank.
Our fourth pantry, the Dolphin Market at Pacific Drive Elementary School in Fullerton, was created in partnership with Project Hope Alliance to provide not only food, but also resources for homeless families to support their transition into more stable living situations. It opened in April 2019.
These food pantries are set up like mini-marts and it’s here that families can shop weekly with an appointment, choosing two full bags of the food their families needs. The Permanent School Pantries feature fresh groceries like eggs and milk, cheese, butter and yogurt, frozen foods, meats, fresh produce, non-perishable items, and even hygiene and paper goods, which help families stretch their limited incomes even further.
Nearly 22% of the seniors in Orange County are at risk of going hungry. Seniors should not have to choose between food and medication or food and rent. That’s why we created programs especially for seniors.
Our Senior Grocery Programs provides low-income seniors with healthy, fresh food options twice per month at nearly 40 locations in Orange County. More than 3,500 seniors in Orange County benefit from this free program offered at Senior Centers, Community Centers, Low-Income Senior Apartments, and other locations with large numbers of low-income seniors.
The Park-It Market is our newest and most innovative tool in the fight against senior hunger. This first-of-its-kind, partially-refrigerated, free market travels Monday through Friday for weekly scheduled visits to 20 local senior centers and low-income senior apartment complexes. The trailer was designed with seniors in mind, allowing easy access for seniors who can select from a healthful variety of meat, eggs and dairy items, vegetables, fruit, canned goods, bread, and more.
The Park-It Market carries 6,000 pounds of nutritious food at each stop. It will serve 1,000 seniors each week and will provide the equivalent of 1 million meals to seniors each year.
Through our network of hundreds of community partners distributing food at locations throughout the county, Second Harvest feeds more than 400,000 food-insecure individuals each month.
There are more than 400,000 people in Orange County who are food insecure. With the extremely high cost of living in our area, even working families can’t make ends meet sometimes. We coordinate the delivery of food to hungry families through the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program and we partner with hundreds of community and program partners to supply vital food to families living under the poverty level in every city in the county.