Contact: Khanh Weinberg
SEIU members collect 1.5 tons of food donation for food banks
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Donations to food banks typically peak during the holidays. This month, SEIU Local 521 members launched a localwide food drive when families really need a helping hand – summer vacation.
It makes sense. When school is out, children who depend on school lunches for sustenance often face malnourishment during the summer months.
In just three weeks, SEIU 521 members collected 3,200 pounds of food. Combined with cash donations, the “Food for All” campaign raised enough to provide more than 7,000 meals to children and families across a half-dozen counties, from Monterey to Kern.
“Summer is a difficult time for many local families who rely on free or reduced-price lunches to help feed their children during the school year,” said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. “We deeply appreciate SEIU Local 521’s generous donations of food at a time when the need is greatest.”
At a time when California’s unemployment rate remains in the double-digits and working families continue struggling with foreclosures, SEIU 521’s first-ever union-wide canned food drive resonated with its public-service members who wanted to help out the communities in which they live. From public hospitals to social service offices, workers signed up online to “adopt” the bins and spread the buzz among co-workers.
“We realized that there are members of the community who are suffering right now because they haven’t got enough money to feed their families,” said Vicki Rodriguez, Vice-President of SEIU Local 521 Santa Cruz County Chapter. “We decided that it was imperative that we did something for the community.”
“Food for All,” spanning 15 cities and 65 worksites, is wrapping up this week and final donations are being tabulated.
Video highlights of the food drive can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWc_QoiPIc0
# # #
The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org.