SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — South Bay officials including San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and a group of Silicon Valley business leaders announced a new coronavirus pandemic response program Wednesday that is intended to distribute food, organize volunteers and provide monetary support to vulnerable residents.
Elected leaders and executives with South Bay nonprofits and businesses maintained good social distancing at the second harvest food bank as Mayor Liccardo announced the launch.
“The greatest generation we’re so familiar with who during the Great Depression and World War II, who rose above and found its moment. Well, this is our moment,” said Liccardo.
The Silicon Valley Strong program includes an online resource hub at siliconvalleystrong.org that will serve as a location at which volunteers can sign up to distribute food to vulnerable populations like seniors and those with significant medical issues.
The city of San Jose and Santa Clara County are operating the program and the San Jose Strong fund in collaboration with Silicon Valley businesses like Apple, according to Liccardo’s office.
On Wednesday, Apple donated $1 million to the cause.
“As you all know, Apple has called this region home for over 40 years,” said Mike Foulkes, Apples Director of State and Local Government Affairs. “We feel a profound sense of civic responsibility to ensure it remains a vibrant place.”
The website will also provide a means of crowd-sourcing volunteers. At Second Harvest Food Bank, elderly or retired volunteers make up a large portion of their manpower.
But the shelter-in-place order has forced many of them to stay home.
Samuel Mulder has a message to all the healthy Gen Z and Millennials who have been shrugging off the virus as no big deal.
“There are a lot of people who are my age and a little older, and a little bit younger, who do care. And for those people who are heartfelt and they care,” said Mulder. “Come out. Come out, serve, help. Because every hand, every foot, every heart and mind, it does a whole lot.”
Cathedral of Faith Pastor Ken Foreman reflected on all the images of empty shelves and anxious people hoarding supplies.
“I think it’s a time to say it’s not just all about me; it’s all about we,” said Foreman.
Residents in need of food and other necessities can pre-register at the Silicon Valley Strong website. Households facing food insecurity can also contact 2-1-1 to receive assistance.