Harvesters: From Catwalk to a Cause

Illustrations by: Hans Bennewitz


Twenty-five years ago, two young women, Jill Johnson-Tucker and Jennifer Van Bergh had the vision and determination to make a difference in their community. The pair set out on a journey of feeding the hungry when they began a volunteer women’s auxiliary group to benefit nonprofit organization Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Today, a quarter of a century later, the Harvesters’ road to victory is far from over.

The Harvesters are stronger than ever and the commitment from the loyal and dedicated group of women who have joined in the crusade against hunger continues on an uninterrupted path raising awareness. The much-needed funds are raised in hope to the end the atrocity of hunger in one of the most affluent counties in our nation.

The Harvesters support the programs of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County and have netted more than 6 million dollars for the cause. Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County shares in the mission of ending hunger in Orange County and the nonprofit organization has an aggressively strategic plan of upping their game from the current 20 million meals to 30 million meals by 2021.

Currently, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County estimates there are more than 335,000 people in Orange County alone who do not know where their next meal is coming from, and one in five children in Orange County may be going to bed hungry each night. The population of people most vulnerable and in dire need of food are children, our senior citizens, and the working poor, while children and seniors make up 50 percent of those in need.

Some of the ways Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County plans to address the needs of the less fortunate is to add staff and equipment in order to obtain fresh food from farmers and local retailers that would otherwise go to waste, distribute more food through school and mobile programs, and build up pantries and soup kitchens with more food and supplies. The Harvesters hear Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County’s call for help and are doing their part to meet the challenge of ending hunger right here in Orange County’s own backyard.

Harvesters is not simply made up of a group of women with a desire to help; it is made up of a group of highly intelligent, imaginative and resourceful individuals who continue one of the most anticipated and unconventional fashion events and luncheons of the year.

On October 5, 2017, this year’s spectacular annual fashion show event promises to bring a dazzling array of some of the hottest designs and runway looks of the season. Sponsored by South Coast Plaza, the breathtaking event will feature a champagne reception with a silent auction, highlighting luxurious and unique items. The upscale fashion show and elegant luncheon will immediately follow.

The top design houses will be represented at the world class fashion soiree. Last year,  Brunello Cucinelli, Fendi, Lanvin, Marni, MaxMara, Moncler, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino and Versace all had models parading the runway. The event will be as glamorous as a New York show during Fashion Week, but raising money for Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County.

Feeding the hungry is feeding one’s soul, and by supporting Harvesters, it is a way for style-watchers to do this in the most fashionable way possible. Get involved by becoming an event underwriter, or donate.

On October 5, 2017, Harvesters will welcome 450 supporters to celebrate its 25th Anniversary with 100 percent of the proceeds going directly to breaking the cycle of hunger in Orange County. Details of this must-attend event will be announced soon. Visit www.feedoc.org/harvesters to learn more.

Harvesters  www.feedoc.org/harvesters | Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County www.feedoc.org

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