Family Harvest – April 2016 (Revised)

Let’s face it, the food we eat affects us in almost every aspect of our lives. For children, a healthy diet is even more important. Their food correlates not only to their health, but to their development and learning, overall happiness and ability to thrive.

For that reason, on the 3rd Friday of each month, Samaritan House hands out fresh food at Family Harvest food distributions in front of Shoreview Methodist Church. “April’s Harvest was wonderful. Nearly 80 families walked away with 120lbs. of food,” says Robyn Fischer, Client Services Manager. “There are so many parents who tell me this food has changed their family’s lives. They’re seeing their children become not only healthier, but happier people too.”

Samaritan House is thrilled to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank to make these types of wonderful programs available to low-income residents. In San Mateo County alone, more than 29,213 children live in food insecure households, according to a study by the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health. These children lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Family Harvests are dedicated to families with small children and adult children under the age of 26 who are still living at home. New families are welcome to register. Please call Samaritan House’s Client Services Office at (650) 347-3648 for more information.

*Correction: An earlier version of this story had misinformation about the details of Family Harvest and Produce Mobile distributions. This has been corrected.

A-Lot to be Thankful For

As part of our Holiday Program, this year Samaritan House celebrated Thanksgiving at the King Center with a delicious, traditional holiday meal and a cheerful place for people to go.  Staff and a plethora of volunteers spent the day serving dinners to over 300 members of the San Mateo community and handing out an additional 100 takeout meals.  Even more, Samaritan House served Thanksgiving dinner for 40 at St. Matthew’s Hotel, a subsidized hotel for low income and disabled folks.

Volunteers spent the morning decorating tables with seasonal flowers donated by local markets and they festooned the walls with posters and paper turkeys made by school children. Then, people sat down to a hot meal of turkey, ham, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, stuffing, rolls and pie.

Samaritan House’s Dining Room Manager,  Mario Cousenses spoke with one family of five at the Thanksgiving dinner who had just arrived from Mexico about a month ago. “They don’t have a steady home or steady jobs yet but they found out about the free Thanksgiving Dinner through the Worker Resource Center (WRC). They were very grateful to have a happy place to go,” says Cousenses. The WRC is another Samaritan House program that offers a safe location for temporary laborers and employers to meet for work.

After the community dinner wrapped, Ruby Kaho-the Kitchen Manager at Samaritan House, personally delivered meals to her church and to the homes of people who couldn’t make it out to the event. The bustling Samaritan House Kitchen provides over 145,000 meals every year and they feed well over 3,000 hungry people every month, many of whom are children. Our kitchen, pantry and dining services fill the gap between the need for nutrition and the ability people need to thrive and move forward.

Notice to clients & volunteers of new space for dining room

Dining Room Manager, Mario Cousenes, November 12th during dinner service from the King Center.


Please Note: Beginning November 12, 2013, Samaritan House’s Dining Room will relocate from Westside Church of Christ in San Mateo to a new, temporary location at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, located at 725 Monte Diablo Avenue.




• Last day of dinner services at Westside Church will be Friday, November 8th

• Dinners will be served from the King Center through January 2014

• Meals served from the new location will be wrapped, to-go meals rather than sit-down dinners

• Volunteers will be asked to come to our Samaritan House kitchen between 3-3:30pm each day to help with meal preparation as well as help distribute at the King Center between 5 and 6pm

We will continue to keep clients and volunteers informed about our location for the dining room after January. Questions or concerns: please contact Samaritan House at 650-341-4081. Thank you for your understanding and support!


Dinner at the Westside Church

According to a report by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and Second Harvest Food Bank, 1 in 4 individuals in San Mateo County is at-risk for hunger. This figure is higher than the national average of 1 in 6. (San Mateo County Hunger Index).

Our dining room located in downtown San Mateo is our attempt to address the missing meals that confront families in our area. In this video, our Dining Hall Manager, Mario Cousenes, talks about who visits our dining hall and what this service means to the individuals he sees every week.

Your donations make a difference! A contribution of $100 will provide 35 meals for families in need at our dining room. Make your secure online donation today.  

Volunteer Spotlight – Pantry Volunteers

One of the many services provided by Samaritan House, our food pantry is a vibrant and highly utilized space which exemplifies our community’s strong support of our mission.

Over 21,000 bags of groceries are distributed through our pantry every year. The pantry runs efficiently with the help of our volunteers, who sort and help with food distribution 5 days a week.

In this video, Ana Maria Jackson & Paula Corona, volunteers for over 10 years in our pantry, talk about their experience with clients and the community.