Martha’s Kitchen which is focused on curbing hunger in Santa Clara County has turned its efforts to hungry students in public colleges and universities.
In various studies that have appeared in the San Jose Mercury News and other media outlets, as many as 1 in 4 college students in public higher institutions experience food insecurity. To view the 2014 San Jose State Food Access Study, click:
Martha's Kitchen had arranged to provide hot meals starting last January at SJSU but that plan has been delayed by the university due to personnel changes and reorganization in the departments involved with the project. To address the issue, we are turning to social media, passing out flyers and old fashioned word-of-mouth to get the word out that Martha's Kitchen welcomes students needing a meal anytime during their hours of operation. This approach is a throwback to the Depression era. Martha's Kitchen will gladly open its doors to make it convenient for low-income students to have a meal regardless of their class schedule.
This grassroots approach to feed students is just one of the strategies Martha's Kitchen has taken to put a dent on the pervasive problem of hunger in the Bay Area and surrounding communities. Cruz continues, "Our near term goal is to prepare one million meals annually. We are close to the half-million mark and have the ability to serve more!"
Meals are served not only at our leased facility at Sacred Heart Church but at over 30 partner sites as far away as Gilroy, Salinas, Los Banos, Merced and Santa Cruz. Any nonprofit organization that has volunteers, a clean facility, utensils, and most importantly the passion to feed need only to open their doors". Martha's Kitchen will provide, FREE of charge, the meals to be served with all the fixin's.
"We have collaborated with Lohbeck Capital Management Group and Second Harvest Food Bank to reach out to other nonprofits organizations to start or expand their meal service. Paul Wallin of Lohbeck Capital Management Group who organizes free workshops for nonprofits each quarter decided to dedicate his time this quarter to calling various organizations for Martha's Kitchen. Every day he calls 15+ organizations to help connect with Martha's Kitchen.”
For more information, contact Edita Cruz with Martha’s Kitchen directly at (408) 293-6111.
On Saturday July 16 Siena Bistro in Willow Glen, CA converted itself into a Spanish Villa, when Owner/Chef David Wiesner and his staff hosted their fifth annual Paella Fiesta, the 3rd benefiting Martha's Kitchen, featuring two types of paella, a wide range of appetizing tapas and all-you-can drink white and red sangria. A portion of all proceeds from the event went to Martha’s Kitchen in Willow Glen, an organization that has served more than 3+ million meals since its inception in 1981.
Chef David was pleased with this year’s turnout of more than 100 diners, which makes this the most successful Paella Fiesta yet. “The Fiesta has become a popular event and our customers look forward to it and being associated with a great cause like Martha’s Kitchen makes it even more special,” he said. “We’ve been working with Edita Cruz, their Executive Director for awhile now, because we believe that they are doing incredible work. Hunger is a problem everywhere and San Jose is surely no exception, so we want to help whenever we can.”
Edita Cruz has seen the Paella Fiesta grow in size over the years, so she is delighted over being the charity associated with this successful event. Many of the guests have attended previous Paella Fiesta events. “Martha's Kitchen is reaching for the stars hoping to serve one million meals every two years with the help of our army of volunteers and benefactors, it will happen. It is great to partner with Dave Wiesner of Siena Bistro to raise funds to feed the hungry, but also to raise awareness to the problem of hunger in our community. Our very own Chef Jose Garcia helped to make the event a big success by donating his time in the kitchen at Siena Bistro, so we would like to give him a special thank you.”