With a little fanfare, Second Harvest Food Bank announced its 2011 holiday food drive total Thursday evening.
The donations equated to 2,715,919 pounds of food, Willy Elliot-McCrea, CEO of Second Harvest announced during a celebration at Michael's On Main in Soquel.
"When I heard the total, I broke down with total overwhelming tears of joy," Elliot-McCrea said.
That topped and is the most ever collected in Santa Cruz County.
"This happened through community effort, so thank you to our entire community," said Ryan Coonerty, one of the food drive chairman and a Santa Cruz city council member.
The food will provide about 2.1 million healthy meals in the county, enough to last through the end of March or into early April, Elliot-McCrea said. February and March are the busiest time of the year for area food pantries because the county's economy is largely seasonal, relying on agriculture and tourism.
The increase in food collected during the campaign will mean Second Harvest can buy 300,000 more pounds of fresh produce and 35,000 more jars of peanut butter, Elliot-McCrea said, trying to show the impact of the community's generosity.
"These are enormous amounts of things that will be accomplished by it," he said.