Over the holidays until Jan. 15, locals contributed food to Second Harvest donation centers around Santa Cruz County.
Their goodwill paid off.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County raised 3.6 million meals during its holiday food drive, Development Director Steve Bennett Thursday.
“Volunteers have been sorting the food and our 200 member agencies have begun distributing it to hungry people throughout Santa Cruz County,” said Bennett, pointing out that the food will be enough to feed people through March -- a period when need is the greatest.
The money raised through the drive will be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement the non-perishable items, said Bennett.
The need for food aid in Santa Cruz County is up 38 percent, according to Second Harvest, which feeds 55,000 people in Santa Cruz County each month.
Second Harvest will host its Annual Awards Dinner March 13 at the Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, honoring community heroes and 2013 Hunger Fighers of the Year. Tickets are available at thefoodbank.org/awardsdinner.