What is the Second Harvest Food Bank?
The Second Harvest Food Bank of NW PA is the largest nonprofit food distribution organization in northwest Pennsylvania. Second Harvest, which has 60,000 square feet of space, solicits, receives, inventories, stores and distributes food and grocery products to 442 partner organizations in 11 counties. Of this group, 285 are member agencies, which include food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafes and shelters as well as such non-emergency agencies as child care centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers and senior centers. We have 157 organizations that are sites for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)* for low-income seniors. The counties Second Harvest serves include Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Venango and Warren. During fiscal year 2013-14, Second Harvest distributed 12 million pounds of food to our partner organizations, which in turn provided food to 167,700 unduplicated recipients.
*CSFP is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.
Second Harvest is part of Feeding America, the country’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. This network offers several benefits to its member food banks, including providing donated food from national manufacturers, facilitating grant applications for funding from a variety of sources, setting standards for food safety and all aspects of operations related to food banks, and providing a forum for food bank directors to help one another in their work of soliciting food and managing food distribution to those in need.
Where does the food come from?
Nutritious but unsalable food is donated to Second Harvest from all levels of the food industry – retailers, distributors, wholesalers, manufacturers, growers – as well as from food drives. The food is nutritious and usable, but due to overproduction, errors in packaging, a short code date or other reasons, it cannot be sold. Second Harvest trucks pick up donated food five days a week from area retailers, wholesalers and food drives.
Second Harvest also serves as the lead agency for storing and distributing government food in four counties – Erie, Forest, Clarion and Jefferson. Provided through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), this food is distributed at no cost to member food pantries.
At times, the available donated food may not adequately meet the needs of the community or a particular program, such as the weekend BackPack Program for children, which must include child-friendly, individual servings of nutritious food. To meet these needs, Second Harvest purchases food at discounted rates with the monetary donations received by the food bank.
Each dollar spent by Second Harvest can obtain approximately 7 pounds of food. The average retail cost of a pound of food is $2.41. At retail price, the same 7 pounds of food would cost approximately $17. In other words, $1 spent = $17 in retail value.
How does Second Harvest distribute food?
Second Harvest distributes food to member agencies, which pay a low handling fee. This fee covers such expenses as trucking, utilities, insurance, supplies and personnel.
Member agencies order from Second Harvest’s inventory, paying the low handling fee. Most agencies in Erie County pick up their orders at our warehouse. Because of the distance and transportation difficulties of most member agencies outside of Erie County, Second Harvest delivers orders to those agencies. In these cases, a low delivery fee is added to the handling fee for these agencies.
Second Harvest subsidizes member agencies by helping with the handling fee that agencies pay. Second Harvest absorbs part of the cost of obtaining and distributing food and relies on donations to cover this cost. Also, as the lead agency for the State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) in four counties, Second Harvest receives funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to apply to the handling fee that emergency member agencies (food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafes and shelters) in these counties pay for certain donated food items.
Who do we help?
Emergency agencies that Second Harvest provides food to include traditional food pantries, mobile food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafes, BackPack Programs and shelters. Other member agencies are nonprofit organizations such as child care centers, group homes and rehabilitation centers. The people served by member agencies include unemployed and underemployed workers, the homeless, older citizens, those with disabilities, families in crisis situations and children. More
How are we funded?
Funding for Second Harvest’s operational expenses comes mainly from donations, handling fees and grants.
Second Harvest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations to Second Harvest are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Of all donations (food, cash and in-kind) Second Harvest received in the 2013-14 fiscal year, 97 percent were devoted to programs rather than administration or fundraising efforts.
You may review our latest Audited Financial Statement and Form 990.
You may print our 2013 Annual Report.