Twice a year, we all partake in a Volunteer Day, which we look forward to as a chance to get out of the office and give back to our community. The past three years, we have spent one of those days at Second Harvest Food Bank in Watsonville, CA, and this year, our 25 (masked) volunteers bagged over 1200 bags of food for Santa Cruz County families who are food insecure.
Founded in 1972, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County was the first food bank in California and the second oldest in the nation. Their mission is to end hunger and malnutrition in Santa Cruz County through education and community involvement. They are a part of Feeding America – a nationwide network of food banks across the country. Second Harvest was a founding member organization of Feeding America (1 of 13) and the California Association of Food Banks. Pre-pandemic, the food bank served 55,000 people per month, distributing 8 million pounds of food per year. Post-pandemic, they are now serving 75,000-80,000 people per month, and distributing 12 million pounds of food. Post-pandemic statistics show that 1 in 3 families in Santa Cruz County are food insecure. Second Harvest is also a certified green organization, which aligns with one of Dovetail’s philanthropic goals to lower methane gas emissions. Second Harvest’s Watsonville location is considered the healthiest food bank in the US, with fresh produce accounting for over 65% of the food distributed. Because some of the produce has a short shelf-life and cannot all be distributed and consumed by people before the food expires, Second Harvest networks with local farmers so any food that cannot be donated to people can instead be consumed by local farm animals. All remaining food waste is sent to a composter in nearby northern Monterey County.
About half of the work at Second Harvest Food Bank is done by volunteers, allowing Second Harvest to use a large percentage of each dollar donated to provide food and educational services to locals. Dovetail Genomics is proud to offer our support to this amazing organization, and will continue to assist their efforts, both through volunteering and donating to their annual Holiday Food and Fund Drive, where Second Harvest is able to turn every dollar donated into 4 meals for local families.
In addition to our annual company Volunteer Days, we recently launched a composting initiative in both our office and our homes to help reduce our individual carbon footprints. Each of us believes that our contributions – however small – matter, and we all strive to make a positive impact on our world. Learn about composting here, and join us in minimizing your own carbon footprint!
We always have a great time spending a day helping our local community! Check out pictures of our team at Second Harvest below!