With banners reminding everyone that 15% of seniors may miss meals, and that one in four children may go hungry, attendees sat at tables adorned with beige linens, pumpkins and a bouquet of fall grasses.
The order of the day was to honor those who have given food, money or manpower to the food bank.
United Healthcare received the Corporate Volunteer Award, which was established this year to honor groups and companies who embrace the food bank's work. United Healthcare has volunteered more than 3,500 hours on 51 separate occasions since 2007, according to the event's program.
Wal-Mart has done everything from hosting food drives to donating food from its stores, including giving the food bank two refrigerated trucks to help expand their programs, Director Joe Schoeningh said as he presented the company with the Community Partnership Award. More than 81,000 pounds of food has come from their Orange County stores as part of the grocery rescue program, along with 100 hours of hands-on services. Nationally, the company and its foundation pledged a $2-billion cash and in-kind commitment as part of a five-year initiative called Fighting Hunger Together, according to the presentation and the event's program.
"We are helping people eat better and live better," said Kimberly Sentovich, the senior vice president of Wal-Mart's Irvine-based Pacific Division.
Ed Arnold presented the Ed Arnold Humanities Award to the Yorba Linda chapter of the National Charity League for going above and beyond to forward Second Harvest's mission. The nonprofit group has been involved since 2002. Its members have donated 700 hours to packing and sorting food, Arnold said. The class of 2011's Passion for Fashion raised $20,000 for Second Harvest, providing more than 60,000 meals.