Pledge 74 August Recap
In the month of August, the Quakes partnered with Soccer Without Borders and Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. The Quakes and the Quakes community were able to raise $3,489 towards food insecurity, and collected in-kind donations valued at $1,600. Quakes staff and fans gave over 284 hours of community service.
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
For the first time, the San Jose Earthquakes and Quakes Foundation have joined forces with Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. This partnership is rooted in a mutual goal of addressing food insecurity and fighting poverty in the Bay Area.
“Food insecurity has been a problem since before the pandemic. COVID just highlighted it,” says Jimmy Shoven, Director of Development at Catholic Charities.
Catholic Charities, through a variety of services, creates new and lasting pathways for hope, opportunity, and dignity for those living in poverty. When looking at the root causes of poverty, it often can be traced back to food insecurity. Without access to three meals a day, poverty can have a ripple effect on other aspects of life such as education, employment, economic security, housing and health. “Poverty is rarely a single-circumstance situation,” says Shoven.
Combating hunger is just one component of the overall mission of Catholic Charities to lift people out of poverty. One of their newest initiatives is holding community markets where free groceries and hot meals are distributed. At these events, community members can also find needed resources, ranging from COVID testing, to childcare, referrals to housing resources, and immigration legal services.
When the community market was launched in October 2019, roughly 300 people came through an open market for the food distribution each week. By the first week of the pandemic, it transitioned into contactless car distribution and exploded into more than 600, and has reached as many as 1,200 in one week.
“Annually, we usually feed 40,000 people through all of our food distribution sites, which include senior centers, school breakfast and lunches, and other programs and to date, we have served nearly 400,000 people in our COVID-19 modified distribution sites including adding eight other distribution sites throughout the county,” says Shoven.
In order to reach 400,000 people, Catholic Charities has teamed up with a variety of different community partners such as Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, Meals on Wheels and Martha’s Kitchen.
“Without volunteers you can’t have a tenfold increase,” says Shoven. “They are dramatically important in our operation, with and without COVID. We only have two hours to distribute the food per law, and if we don’t have enough volunteers to distribute all the food in those two hours, then people don’t get food.”
To conclude our partnership month, the Quakes brought fifteen volunteers to help in bringing awareness of the needs of the community. Volunteers included Quakes staff and friends from Quakes supporter groups. 10 Earthquake jerseys were gifted to Catholic Charities staff as a thank you for their community leadership and service efforts.
This partnership will continue beyond month as a joint effort and ongoing mission to alleviate the roots of poverty through combating hunger through continued volunteering, raising funds and bringing awareness of the needs of our neighbors.