August 19, 2014

Taste of the Nation Orlando Raises Over $300,000 Toward Childhood Hunger

Author: Maureen Mikel

Taste of the Nation 2014 Taste of the Nation 2014Share Our Strength’s 25th Annual Taste of the Nation Orlando 2014 was definitely a night to remember! Over 2,000 guests gathered in the World Center Marriott Cypress Ballroom to enjoy live music, a large silent auction, raffles (which presented the opportunity to win 99 bottles of beer on the wall or a trip to Oktoberfest in Germany!), tasty cocktails and amazing culinary treats from 38 of Central Florida’s finest chefs. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever had better food!

You may be thinking, what could be better than that? Well, the fact that Taste of the Nation Orlando 2014 raised $301,317 – a fundraising record in the 25 year run of this event! This will go to support Share Our Strength and local programs that fight childhood hunger at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. We could not be more thankful for these contributions. Read More …

August 6, 2014

USDA Partnership

Author: Dave Krepcho

USDA at Second HarvestUSDA recently visited our main facility and were amazed at what they saw. Robin Bailey, Jr., Southeast Regional Administrator for the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service and I are pictured here identifying turkeys purchased by the USDA through The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Items like these are distributed to needy families by state partners like food banks, food pantries and soup kitchens, or community action agencies.

Of all the food banks they work with and visit, they said ours was beyond what they’ve seen and imagined. Our systems, inventory control, food safety and spotlessly clean environment are all of the qualities they seek in a partner. We have a contract to distribute food that is part of “The Emergency Food Assistance Program”. These are various USDA commodities that are provided for people in need.

USDA is one of many fine examples of partnerships that bring millions of pounds of food to our Central Florida table for distribution. Farmers, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, manufacturers, restaurants, resorts along with community food drives all come together with their donations. Last year alone this totaled enough food for 53 million meals. That works out to Second Harvest channeling the food at the rate of one meal per second. Read More …

August 4, 2014

Hanging out with Hunger Heroes

Author: Dave Krepcho

Hanging out with Hunger HeroesDuring the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to have a series of discussions with dozens of our Partner Agencies. These are the passionate, committed and wonderful groups that receive food through Second Harvest. They are the ones who then take that food and feed the people in their program, neighborhood and community.

They represent just over 550 emergency food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, after-school programs and many more.

Daphne and Marie pictured to the left, area fine example of what I would call Hunger Heroes. They both work at New Hope Community Church of God in Bithlo, one of our  partner agencies.

The discussions we’ve been having are a good opportunity to find out what’s on the minds of our Partner Agencies. Read More …

July 24, 2014

July Volunteer Spotlight: Julie Morby

Author: Melissa Kear

Julie MorbyIt’s rare to find someone who is as passionate about reducing food waste and feeding people as one of our organization’s pioneers, Dave Pearlman. Founder and owner of Kane’s Furniture, Dave was a man who made it a daily goal to fight hunger and feed hope in Central Florida. To honor his memory, we created the David Pearlman Spirit of Volunteerism Award, an award given to that rock star volunteer who, like Dave, goes above and beyond in our community to bring hope to our hungry neighbors in need.

This month’s Volunteer Spotlight features recent David Pearlman Spirit of Volunteerism Award winner, Julie Morby.

In 2008, through a work related volunteer group her husband signed them up for, Julie began volunteering at Second Harvest. It only took joining us once for Julie to realize wanted to find other ways to volunteer, and boy did she! Read More …

July 23, 2014

Discover Christian Church Youth Group Helps Fight Hunger in Brevard County

Author: Valerie Carl

Discovery Christian Church Youth Group3On Tuesday and Wednesday, Discover Christian Church Youth Group piled into the church van with packed lunches and headed for Second Harvest Food Bank.

The youth sorted Salvage Dry Products  on Tuesday and then Frozen Product on Wednesday.  Toward the end of their volunteer shift I asked the Youth to reflect on this experience and provide  a statement on the collaborative effort.

“Really cool experience!  I love that it helps a lot of agencies and saves them time to devote to their individual missions.  I learned there are a lot of families that need help and SHFB is doing as much as they can to help”.    Summer Wooten

“I learned that there are families that did not have food.  I learned I shouldn’t take for granted my next meal”.  Morgan Smith

Read More …

July 18, 2014

Summer of Dreams 2014

Author: Santos Maldonado

53rd Bank Summer of Dreams 2014 volunteersSummer of Dreams is a free, 10-week program for homeless children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties providing much needed resources and activities while school is out.

Founded by Fifth Third Bank in 2011, it addresses the needs of youngsters who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

Second Harvest Food Bank is pleased to partner with the City of Orlando for the fourth consecutive year; making available close to 80,000 pounds of kid-friendly food since the program’s initial launch.

According to school officials in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties, an estimated 11,000 children are considered homeless.This population is difficult to quantify and even harder to reach.

Kids are often the unseen victims, particularly in Florida, which has some of the worst displacement rates in the country, ranking near the bottom in child homelessness. (38th).† Read More …