Taking Action on Hunger

Dear community member, 

Food insecurity affects students’ ability to learn and grow, impacting concentration, memory, mood, and so much more. 

We know that about 1 in 10 Santa Cruz County youth experience food insecurity, a rate that remains far too high. Our schools have an important and expanding role to play, both in education and providing direct nutrition – starting with a recent expansion of services to provide free breakfast and lunch to any student who wants it, regardless of their family’s financial status.

We are also proud to partner with local organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County to distribute food and raise awareness about the impacts of hunger.

Second Harvest is an outstanding organization that has its roots as California’s oldest food bank. It serves a staggering 65,000 food-insecure individuals every single month – one out of four of whom are children.

September is Hunger Action Month, an annual nationwide campaign to raise awareness about hunger in America and inspire action. And today, September 15, is Hunger Action Day – a focal point for these collective efforts. 

Throughout the month, Second Harvest is calling on our community to do our part to combat hunger and food insecurity, whether that be by volunteeringdonating, or advocating.

You’ll also be hearing more about our work with Second Harvest Food Bank later this fall, as it is my privilege to serve as co-chair of the upcoming Holiday Food & Fund Drive alongside Community Foundation Santa Cruz County CEO Susan True.

The Holiday Food & Fund Drive kicks off the first week of November. In the meantime, I want to extend my deep appreciation to the Second Harvest and the many individuals and organizations that work to combat hunger and food insecurity in Santa Cruz County. 

Together, we will ensure hunger has no home here.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools