May 19, 2016

The Feel Good Factor

Author: Maria Diestro

2016 Swamp Sistas La La Summer HopeI’m an Orlando based musician and songwriter who has lived and toured throughout the Gulf Coast region my entire life. Swampy is my climate of choice, and when asked to describe my sound, I say “Swamp Roots” because it’s my own blend of the music I heard growing up, New Orleans rhythm & blues, soul, gospel, country, zydeco and rock and roll, with a percolating groove that exudes humidity and lush growth.

Five years ago I initiated a community of women friends called the Swamp Sistas, 2,545 at last count. We are a diverse group with varied occupations and backgrounds, but we all have two things in common. We love music and we love helping out. We’re passionate about both and combine them whenever we can. Read More …



May 12, 2016

Thank you for joining us at the 6th Annual Wine Women & Shoes Orlando

Author: Maria Diestro

WWS 2016Sip, Sip, Hooray! Why are we celebrating, you ask? Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s 6th Annual Wine Women and Shoes Orlando presented by Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies raised over $235,000! That’s more than 940,000 meals that will help fight hunger and feed hope for our neighbors in need!

The Tuscany ballroom and foyer at The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes were abuzz on Saturday, April 30th as guests enjoyed mouth-watering food courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Orlando Grande Lakes Catering, were delighted with tastings from 8 wine vintners, and shopped til they dropped (or were moved inside for the seated program) in the amazing Marketplace full of jewelry, hand bags, shoes, and accessories galore. Of course, we can’t forget the incredible Sole Men, always tending to our ladies and lending a helping hand when needed.

This sip-sational event would not be possible without our generous guests, Sponsors, Sole Men, vendors, and volunteers – Thank YOU to each and every one of you. Because of every ticket purchased, auction item bid on, and every great treasure purchased in the Marketplace, so many children, seniors, and families in Central Florida will not have to wonder where their next meal will come from. Read More …



May 5, 2016

A Community Response to the “Silver Tsunami”

Author: Dave Krepcho

Older AmericansMay is designated as “Older Americans Month”. As I think of my parents, grandparents and mentors throughout the years, a sense of gratitude fills me. They all cared for my livelihood, helped me in tough times and made a profound difference in my life. Celebrating our seniors should happen throughout the year. It is bittersweet to celebrate and at the same time realize so many seniors struggle to meet basic needs. Thousands of people that make up what is referred to as “The Greatest Generation” are struggling in their golden years to put food on the table. In addition, as Baby Boomers age they now represent another large wave of people in need due to the lingering effects of the economic downturn a few years ago. They are making the tough choice of buying food or medicine, or food vs. mortgage. In Central Florida, 17.2% of the seniors are suffering from food insecurity. Many live in a food desert, others are not mobile and/or struggle to prepare meals due to physical and/or mental frailty.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is involved in a collective impact approach to the challenge of addressing senior food security. Along with partners such as AARP, the Winter Park Health Foundation, Seniors First, the University of Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, the Senior Resource Alliance and more than a dozen others, we are in the midst of creating a more holistic community approach to helping seniors – the silos are coming down. Learning more about each of the partners, their challenges and opportunities takes time – building trust is essential. Read More …



April 28, 2016

Farewell from Paula

Author: Guest Blogger

Paula Rebman Bids Farewell to the food bankI’ve had the opportunity and privilege of working with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (SHFB) for six years. I can still remember my interview with Erin and thinking how mammoth our warehouse was at the Brengle location. I was blown away with the food bank then and I continue to be amazed not only by what we do but what you our agencies do every day.

I have seen pantries grow from a few shelves to the size of classrooms. Stats increase from 20 families a month to over 200. It has been my greatest honor to assist you, our partner agencies, in that growth.

I feel so lucky to have worked with the best of the best in Central Florida! Every single person has had an effect on me; I can only hope that I have impacted you in a positive way. From the staff at SHFB (including Volusia and Brevard Branches) to every volunteer at our agencies, you have helped save a life from a few moments of pain and brought more than just a smile to their face, you have brought hope. Read More …



April 28, 2016

Swamp Sistas La La Season is here and now everyone, everywhere can participate!

Author: Guest Blogger

The next Swamp Sistas La La is Saturday, May 21st at Loch Haven Park in Orlando, Florida and we hope to see you there. We’re also inviting all our friends, near and far, to join us for a virtual La La at www.lalasummerhope.com, a fun and rewarding way to help feed hungry kids this summer. Come be a part of the ‘feel good’ frenzy!

VISIT WWW.LALASUMMERHOPE.COM NOW!

Some songwriting Sistas helped me explain everything in this video.
Together, at www.lalasummerhope.com, we can help 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida get food to kids who desperately need it this summer!

Read More …



April 13, 2016

Save the Date: Stamp Out Hunger on May 14th!

Author: Maria Diestro

2016 Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food DriveWe’re about a month away from the 24th annual Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive! On Saturday, May 14th, Letter Carriers across America will help provide assistance to Americans who are struggling with hunger.

The Food Drive effort is the nation’s largest single-day drive. In 2015, more than 235,000 pounds of food were collected in community and distributed out to our feeding partners over the course of a couple weeks. This helped kids, seniors, and families all over Central Florida, all thanks to you!

Click here to sign up to get a reminder email the day before the food drive.

Make sure to look over our most needed items list before the food drive. Thank you for helping to fight hunger on Saturday, May 14th!