Silicon Valley may seem like it is enjoying unprecedented prosperity, but a record number of kids, families, and seniors rely on food banks and public services for food every month, and the number is growing at an alarming rate.
According to Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, one in four people in Silicon Valley faces food insecurity, which is defined as a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food. One in 10 people receives food from Second Harvest.
The booming economy has sent the cost of housing soaring, leaving many families and seniors with little remaining for food. It’s something called the Silicon Valley hunger paradox — as the economy grows, so does the number of people who need food. Even those we depend on to make our community run can’t afford to pay for housing and put nutritious food on the table — cooks, cashiers, health care workers, teachers, and too many more.
As a member of the Silicon Valley community, Zscaler strongly believes that we must be a leader in giving back and helping others. One of the ways we are doing this is with the 2019 Second Harvest Virtual Race to End Hunger. This 48-hour online competition rallies nine Silicon Valley companies in a friendly competition to raise funds from employees with the goal of reaching $1 million in donations.
At the end of the 48 hours, the nine companies had raised nearly $950,000 toward the goal. Our employees took the program to heart and were a key player in this effort with an amazing 82.5 percent of employees donating to this cause---and I announced that we would be participating in this race just a week ago!
I want to personally thank all the Zscaler employees who donated over these two days. I am delighted, but not surprised, by how readily our employees stepped forward to donate—the next highest participation rate was 50 percent. I believe the high participation at Zscaler speaks to the values we each hold as a member of this organization. We truly have an amazing family of employees and they are key to what makes Zscaler a “Great Place to Work.”
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” These words from Maya Angelou perfectly define this recent campaign. And it is only the beginning of the ways we can play a role in helping our community.
Please consider giving back yourself to support your local community. Here is a link to how you can help Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
Dr. Amit Sinha is Zscaler President of R&D, Operations & Customer Service, CTO