The UC Santa Cruz community stepped up once again to support those in need, with record-breaking donations to the Second Harvest Food Bank, the United Way of Santa Cruz County and the Student Volunteer Center’s Giving Tree program. 

Staff, faculty, students and community members raised 130,076 meals for the Second Harvest Food Bank surpassing the 2012 goal of 60,000 meals. 

“Our success this year is attributable to a growing team effort. We have had more and more people getting involved in the last two years and we are looking to continue that trend,” said UCSC programmer of administrative services, John Steele. 

Steele, a Second Harvest chair member, incorporated various programs that included food collection barrels, electronic and envelope donation methods, a silent auction, and other fundraising channels, to help the Second Harvest Food Bank more than double last year’s mark of 50,000 meals.

The United Way of America builds long-term relationships with local schools, government agencies, businesses, and many more institutions. The local Santa Cruz county office raised $50,522 in 2012.

The Student Volunteer Center’s Giving Tree was another successful program that delivered gifts to hundreds of children during the holiday season. Recognizing the challenges of the winter holiday on less-fortunate families, the Student Volunteer Center provides gifts for children in need.