January 2014

Where the Rebound Ends: New Report to Show Continued Growth in “Meal Gap” in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties Despite Improving Economy

Media Alert
What: Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and Santa Clara University will release new data that shows the “meal gap” in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties grew by 4 percent in the past year. Those who have been left behind in Silicon Valley’s rebound are having a difficult time putting food on the table. The stakes are high for our community, particularly with recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps), the expiration of unemployment benefits, and pending government cuts to SNAP and other nutrition programs in the Farm Bill. The sixth annual Hunger Action Summit, titled “Turning Fresh Ideas Into Action,” will focus on innovative solutions for ending local hunger.

When: Friday, January 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
Where: Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center, Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 95053
Who: The Hunger Action Summit is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute and Leavey School of Business. At the event, the dean of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, S. Andrew Starbird, will update the Hunger Index, which measures the gap between how many meals are needed for low-income residents in the two-county region to eat three meals a day and how many meals they are able to purchase on their own or acquire through food-assistance programs.
Other event speakers include:
Pediatrician Dr. Deborah A. Frank, director of Boston Medical Center’s Grow Clinic for Children and founder and principal investigator at Children’s HealthWatch, will speak about the impacts of hunger on health from the prenatal period through adolescence.
The Alliance to Transform CalFresh activist Kim McCoy Wade will talk about “The Unmet Potential of SNAP,” the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which funds CalFresh. 
SCU students Selena Pistoresi, Lisa McMonagle, and Theresa Gordon will discuss their project, “The Cost of a Healthy Meal,” funded by Bank of America.
Sumit Sadana, executive vice president and chief strategy officer at SanDisk, will present “Feeding a Million Kids a Day: Learning from Akshaya Patra.” He will discuss how Patra has used technology and innovative distribution efforts to feed hungry children in India.
Cindy McCown, vice president of programs and services at Second Harvest, will talk about the current state of hunger in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and why hunger is so prevalent in such a wealthy area. She will also explain how Second Harvest’s strategic initiatives are helping to get more nutritious food to people in need.
Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest food Bank and a Feeding America Board member, will highlight some of the most exciting innovations across the nationwide Feeding America network of 202 food banks.
Why: The Hunger Action Summit is designed to spark conversation and inspire action to end local hunger.
Media Contacts:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-768-6898 cell
Caitlin Kerk | Second Harvest Food Bank | ckerk@shfb.org | 408-858-9208 cell