September 22, 2016

Second Harvest’s Partner Agency Council

Author: Erin Gray

agency-council-conference-erinA little over 3 years ago, Second Harvest Food Bank created a Partner Agency Council.

The purpose of the Council was to have a key group of partner agencies meet monthly, and be able to think strategically about things happening in the food bank and related to the other partner agencies.

Early on, we consulted our partner agencies for advice on the design of our new facility and got such good ideas that we wanted to expand it to all aspects of our operations!

We started with a group of 12 agencies that represented all 6 counties that we serve, and currently have over 20 partner agencies from all 6 counties. Our agency members vary considerably – they are large and small, paid staff and volunteers. They include food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs, and school pantries. We seek a variety of agencies so that they can represent the network as a whole. Read More …

September 22, 2016

Partner Spotlight: Christian Care Benevolence Center

Author: Lauren Moskowitz

christian-care-benevolence-centerThe Christian Care Center’s Benevolence Centeris the largest food pantry in Lake County serving an average of over 2150 individuals each month, giving over 22,000 pounds of food each week to those in need in Lake County. This program is designed to supply families with five days’ worth of food and eight articles of clothing per family member each month along with other household items free of charge.

The Benevolence Ministry began as a clothes closet at First Baptist Church of Leesburg in the early 1980’s. People would donate clothes to the less fortunate and others would volunteer to pass them out. When the old Rescue Mission started receiving food donations, they moved the clothes closet to the Rescue Mission and began providing food aid along with clothing.  In 1991, the ministry moved to its present location on 13th street which once was a historic train depot.

In 2003 the Center entered into an alliance with Second Harvest Food Bank as a partner agency allowing for substantial growth in the number of families and people served. Besides the individuals served each month, the Benevolence Center serves the Christian Care Center’s residential facilities with over 90,000 meals each year as well as Lake County residents in need, and supports community partners who serve veterans, the elderly, children and at-risk individuals. Read More …

September 15, 2016

Dining in Darkness to Shine a Light on Hunger and Vision Impairment

Author: Maureen Mikel

img_8588Do you think that you could handle dining in complete darkness – only relying on smell, taste and texture to try to figure out what food you’ve just taken a bite of? How about trying to guess how full your glass is, trying to sense it’s fullness before it spills over and douses you in water?

Over 125 guests were up for the challenge this year at Light House of Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank’s Dining in the Dark. Perhaps it was the Orlando Police Department’s SWAT team that incentivized guests to join, as they greeted and mingled with guests during the cocktail hour, and were decked out in night vision goggles to serve dinner in complete darkness. Or maybe it was award-winning Chef Jill Holland, who treated guests to a whirlwind of delicious flavors and smells, keeping them on their toes as they tried to guess what was plated in front of them. Read More …

September 14, 2016

A Successful 27th Year at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation

Author: Melissa Kear

thank-you-2016On August 27th, 2016, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry celebrated it’s 27th year by raising a whopping $279,487 to help ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need this coming year – but they didn’t do it alone.

Forty-four of the area’s most distinguished chefs along with nearly two dozen craft brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors came together that night at the Orlando World Center Marriott  to serve sips and samples to a record attendance of more than 3,000 guests.

One of the region’s longestrunning food and beverage fundraising events, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is a volunteer-driven event organized each year by an all-volunteer steering committee representing a variety of local businesses and organizations, supported by more than 300 day-of event volunteers, and made possible by the in-kind support of a variety of local business partners. Read More …

September 8, 2016

Sunday Funday Brunch!

Author: Guest Blogger

brunchweb2016aSecond Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will be hosting a “Sunday Funday” Brunch featuring live entertainment by the Orlando Gay Chorus. Guests will enjoy an all-you-can-eat brunch complete with mimosas, and an optional Bloody Mary bar on Sunday September 25, 2016 with reservations beginning at 10:00 AM.  The brunch will be held at Second Harvest Food Bank, 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, FL 32805.

Darden who is a wonderful community partner will lend us the expertise of Executive Chef Jim Nuetzi and his team from Olive Garden Italian Restaurants. They will be preparing an array of delicious pastas, salads, and will feature an Italian carving station with turkey and roast beef.

Chef Jill Holland of Second Harvest’s Catering for Good and her team will prepare and serve traditional brunch selections as well as a Gourmet Grilled Cheese Station.  Some of our past graduates of Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program will join in on the fun by creating delicious offerings to show off their success in the culinary industry in Central Florida. Read More …

September 7, 2016

Skip a Meal Challenge

Author: Maureen Mikel

Final Logo with SHFBIf we told you that a simple challenge could make a difference to help thousands of Central Floridians who struggle with hunger every single day, would you accept it?

During the month of September, which is Hunger Action Month, help us provide an additional 20,000 meals by accepting the Second Harvest Skip a Meal Challenge. Your $10 donation can provide up to 40 meals for our neighbors in need!

The best part? A generous donor has stepped up and offered to match any challenge donation. Your gift will count twice a much! Your $10 gift will become $20 or your $50 turns into $100.


There are 3 easy steps to taking the Second Harvest Skip a Meal Challenge: Read More …