Hunger at Home: Where Food and Surplus Meet Need Annual Benefit Gala

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Hunger at Home, a Bay Area non-profit organization that is working to end the homelessness and hunger epidemic in Silicon Valley, is hosting its 3rd annual fundraising gala on Friday, November 18 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

“I was with my then 8 year old son serving at a soup kitchen when he asked me how this was possible, so many hungry people,” said Mr. Sterner.

Hunger at Home, a Bay Area non-profit organization that is working to end the homelessness and hunger epidemic in Silicon Valley is hosting its 3rd annual fundraising gala on Friday, November 18 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

Hunger at Home is an innovative nonprofit that creates partnerships between venues with existing surplus and local nonprofits that serve the homeless and those in need. Since October 2015, Hunger at Home has donated over two million meals to partner nonprofits including Martha’s Kitchen, The Salvation Army and Bill Wilson Center.

These donated meals have been provided by the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, Levi’s Stadium, the San Francisco 49ers, Centerplate, the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View and a consortium of the San Jose hotel community. Hunger at Home also works to leverage resources beyond food by coordinating the donation of china, linens, gym equipment, televisions and countless other items.

“Far too many in our valley of plenty don’t know where their next meal will come from, or where they’ll find shelter tonight,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “I commend Hunger at Home for its ongoing efforts to bridge the gap between those who have and those who need, and for inspiring thousands throughout our community to get involved.”

In Santa Clara County there are reportedly over 6,500 homeless people living on the streets, under bridges, in parks, neighborhoods, undeveloped storefronts and in their cars. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people in the U.S. will face food insecurity and in many areas of Santa Clara County the rate is 1 in 3. Securing food and other surplus items for these nonprofits allows them to focus on increasing program services such as counseling and home placement to the homeless.

Team San Jose has taken the lead on a hospitality industry alliance to help eradicate homelessness and hunger. “It’s just the right thing to do,” said Dave Costain, chief operating officer of Team San Jose. “We have a vested interest in helping the community as much as we can, not only as an economic generator, but several hundred thousand people go hungry everyday. It’s a growing issue so this is our way to certainly give back.”

The founder of Hunger at Home is Ewell Sterner, who also serves as the general manager of convention center operations at Team San Jose. Ewell created Hunger at Home in 2008 while living in San Diego and serving as the area director of food and beverage for Hilton properties. “I was with my then 8 year old son serving at a soup kitchen when he asked me how this was possible, so many hungry people,” said Mr. Sterner. “As a veteran of the hospitality industry, I know how much excess goes to waste and decided that something had to be done.”

Upon moving to Santa Clara County he saw a very similar situation and decided to resume Hunger at Home here. Ewell was recently awarded a 2016 Silver Spoons Award by Venues Today Magazine for Best New Sustainability Initiative for his efforts with Hunger at Home.

“In my 15 years at Martha’s Kitchen, I had often heard it mentioned as a vision – some sort of market place such as what Hunger at Home has achieved in such a short time,” said Edita Cruz, executive director of Martha’s Kitchen. “Now it is a reality because of the leadership and commitment of Ewell Sterner.”

On Friday, November 18, Hunger at Home is partnering to host a gala fundraiser that will benefit both Hunger at Home and charity partners The Salvation Army, Martha’s Kitchen and Bill Wilson Center. These partners were selected for their dedication to alleviate the hunger and homeless crisis in our community. This will be Hunger at Home’s third annual gala, but the first in San Jose.

For more information on Hunger at Home and the upcoming gala please visit: hungerathometeam.org.

Event Sponsors

“Bridge the Gap” is hosted by Hunger at Home. Premier Sponsors: Team San Jose and San Jose Hotels – Business Improvement District. Presenting Sponsors: Sharks Foundation and Toeniskoetter Family Foundation. Platinum Sponsors: Nederlander Concerts and Broadway San Jose.

About Hunger at Home
Hunger at Home is a unique and innovative partnership between local hospitality partners and nonprofits that serve the homeless and hungry. The focus is to bridge existing gaps by building relationships that connect surplus with need. To date, Hunger at Home has distributed 2 million meals to partner nonprofits such as Martha’s Kitchen, The Salvation Army and the Bill Wilson Center. In addition to securing food, other donated surplus items like linens, gym equipment, refrigerators, furniture, etc. allow these charities to focus on increasing program services such as counseling and home placement to the homeless.

About Team San Jose

Team San Jose (TSJ) is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, labor and venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience. TSJ manages the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, California Theatre, Center for the Performing Arts, City National Civic, Montgomery Theater, Parkside Hall and South Hall.

About Martha’s Kitchen

Today Martha’s Kitchen, the “little soup kitchen” is not so little anymore. It still gives out nutritious hot meals onsite with its mission to “feed the hungry with dignity, no questions asked, no judgment made.” At the end of 2014, it served its 3,000,000th meal since its founding, and has now grown to an annual production of over 380,000 meals. Martha’s Kitchen sends out over 350,000 hot and cold meals annually to over 30 other nonprofit organizations in Santa Clara County as far south as Gilroy, including Santa Cruz, Monterey and Merced counties. The “little soup kitchen that could” has proven it certainly can run efficient kitchen with a lean staff of 8.5 employees.

About Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has been “Doing the Most Good” in Santa Clara County since 1884. “The Army” shares over 600,000 acts of kindness annually in Silicon Valley by providing people in need with basic human services to provide hope and help, comfort and dignity. “The Army” provides emergency shelter to homeless men; free meals daily to hungry men, women and children; food, rent and utility assistance to families in crisis; friendship and warm nutritious lunches to lonely seniors and back to school shoes and clothing for at risk students. The Salvation Army works to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those in our community without discrimination.

About Bill Wilson Center

Bill Wilson Center provides direct services to more than 3,500 children, youth, young adults and families in Santa Clara County through our various programs. We reach more than 34,000 clients indirectly through our Street Outreach and crisis line programs. Bill Wilson Center programs focus on housing, education, counseling and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Erin Garcia
erinegarcia(at)gmail(dot)com
510-364-1304

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Erin Garcia
Erin Garcia Public Relations
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