Pizarro: Health Trust gets $500,000 grant from Google Impact Challenge

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San Jose Mercury News
June 4, 2014
Sal Pizarro

There is cheering at the Health Trust this week after the San Jose nonprofit learned that public online voting had placed it in the top four of 10 finalists for the Google Impact Challenge. And with that placement comes a $500,000 grant the Health Trust plans to use to bring healthier produce options to underserved communities in Santa Clara County.

Health Trust CEO Fred Ferrer and his team weren’t the only ones celebrating in Silicon Valley. The Bring Me a Book Foundation in Mountain View also placed in the top four, getting the half-million dollar grant. Entrepreneurship incubator BUILD, which has three locations in the East Bay and on the Peninsula, didn’t get one of the top grants, but it still received $250,000 for being a finalist.

An amazing 191,504 people voted in the online poll conducted between May 22 and June 2, which, when adjusted for population size, is the highest turnout Google’s had for a challenge. It’s also more than the reported Santa Clara County turnout in Tuesday’s primary election.

The Health Trust got an extra bonus this week, as Google volunteers helped pack and distribute food for more than 300 families in East San Jose. For the Googlers, it was a double celebration of the Impact Challenge and Google Serve, the search-engine giant’s annual volunteer project.

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