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Tribe donates $500,000 for hunger relief

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HIGHLAND, Calif. – The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians presented $500,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank Dec. 15 at the Riverside warehouse of Second Harvest Food Bank.

This generous gift is the largest grant received by Second Harvest Food Bank since it opened in 1980. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has made several generous donations in the past two years to support the needs of the food bank and its mission to alleviate and someday end hunger in the Inland Empire. Since August of 2008 San Manual has donated more than $700,000 to Second Harvest, to ensure that food for citizens in need remains available.

This $500,000 gift is to aid Second Harvest with transporting food throughout the Inland Empire. Second Harvest needs to replace eight older semi-trucks with newer models to meet the AQMD requirements before the end of 2010. This $500,000 will enable Second Harvest to purchase the newer model trucks, and keep the donated food moving from donors to the warehouse and out to the communities served by more than 440 nonprofit agencies.

“We needed a large amount of funding in a short time,” said Tracylyn Sharrit, director of development and marketing for Second Harvest. “Our partnership with San Manuel and the tribe is so important to us, not just for the funding. Everyone we meet with from San Manuel is genuinely concerned about hungry children, seniors and families. In our partnership with San Manuel we have shared passion to work together, so that food goes where it is needed most.”

Times being critical for many families, requests for food are growing. Without these funds to replace the vehicles, it would have taken a financial toll on Second Harvest Food Bank at a time when the community needs food the most.

“Now, when the need is most critical, it is important not to pull back on helping others,” said San Manuel Chairman James Ramos. “San Manuel understands how important Second Harvest is to the Inland Empire’s social safety net and is making this gift as an investment toward the future well-being of this region.”

Second Harvest is grateful to San Manuel for sharing the passion to feed neighbors in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. The trust given to Second Harvest by the tribe over the years is something the nonprofit takes seriously.