Cisco Recognized for Raising 55 Million Pounds of Food for Local Charity

by Ricardo Benavidez
Sep 11, 2014 5:30 PM ET

Last night I was proud to join other Cisco staff and executives in accepting four “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank near our San Jose headquarters.

Cisco has supported Second Harvest for more than 20 years, and in that time we have raised the equivalent of 55 million pounds of food for the organization!

Our employees volunteer there and make donations through our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, and we’ve provided several product and cash grants over the years, most recently to help the organization’s clients better utilize the CalFresh food stamp program (read my earlier blog on CalFresh). In 2012 Cisco employees contributed more than 4900 volunteer hours to Second Harvest.

Second Harvest does important work. One in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties receives food from Second Harvest, and 40% of them are children. According to the 2014 Hunger in America report, clients receive assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank an average of 13 times per year, compared to the national average of 8 times. This could be a reflection of the high cost of living in California’s Bay Area.

“The vast majority of our clients earn less than $20,000 a year,” said Second Harvest CEO Kathy Jackson. “In an area where it takes an annual income of more than $82,000 for a family of four to pay their bills and put food on the table, we know that $20,000 doesn’t leave much for food.”

“I’m proud to be part of a company that comes together every year to fight global hunger,” said Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby, who serves on the Second Harvest board of directors. “It means a lot to me because I come from a background that had to take advantage of these kinds of services when I was young.  The need still exists in this valley and we can do something about it.”

“Our employees, the people, it’s amazing how all of them give of their time, and their talents, and their means to take care of other people,” said Curt Hill, Cisco vice president of technical support. “That’s one of the things that makes culture great at Cisco.”

Cisco’s support of Second Harvest Food Bank demonstrates our commitment to addressing social issues in communities where we have an employee presence. Read more about how we support critical human needs around the world.