Last week, as I read about the president’s 2018 budget proposal — which calls for cuts of $193 billion nationally over 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) — I couldn’t help but feel sadness over how hunger relief has become such a polarized topic, one marked by half-truths and misconceptions.
Regardless of political leanings, if we can just look at what’s actually happening on the ground in communities across America, we’ll see that calls to drastically reduce federal aid are coming at a very bad time.
As reported by Feeding America’s recently released “Map the Meal Gap” study, food insecurity and poverty remain higher than before the Great Recession. Even though the economy has been improving, millions of Americans facing hunger are finding it increasingly difficult to afford enough food and groceries to feed themselves and their families. Read More …
June 12, 2017
Last Monday, June 5th, our 10th annual, award-winning, Summer Food Program for Children began distributing hot lunches, breakfasts, and snacks to kids living in low-income areas across Central Florida.
During the long summer recess, children are unable to participate in the free school lunch program since cafeterias are closed. That’s when the Summer Food Program helps bridge the nutritional gap.
In our first week, over 40,000 meals were transported to 81 locations in 6 counties. Approximately 5,000 children were offered free meals every day. With 9 more weeks to go, our work is cut out for us. Read More …
June 8, 2017
Monday, June 6th started the first day of the food bank’s Summer Feeding Program. This program, hitting its 10th year, works with local partners to feed kids over the summer months, a time when they lose access to the meals that school provided.
To meet the need of thousands of kids, our production kitchen team has been busy producing nearly 9,000 meals a day. These meals support 65 – 70 meal sites this summer, and help feed kids of all ages. Read More …
June 8, 2017
“Mmmm this is the best cheese I’ve ever had!”
“Look, there’s chicken, and ham, AND cheese AND bread!!”
“Oh yeah, this gets a thumbs up!… no, a double thumbs up!!”
These were just some of the reactions I overheard during a Kids Cafe Focus Group I had the opportunity to attend last Wednesday, May 31st at Goldenrod Recreation Center.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s Kids Cafe is an after-school meal service program that provides food for needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties, providing quick access to meals at the end of the school day. Kids Cafe Focus Groups help the food bank’s chefs hone in on, not only the most nutritious food they can distribute to kids in our community, but what kids enjoy most as well. Read More …
June 8, 2017
School is out and summer is here. For many children, that means vacations, summer camp, fun at the pool and time with friends. However, for other children in our community, summer means one thing: hunger.
When school ends, so does access to nutritious meals. Children who receive food assistance through the free or reduced-price lunch program during the school year will not be getting that assistance in the summer. These children are facing a summer of hunger.
Because i know you care, and because I know that you can make a difference for them. Every $10 you give today helps distribute up to $90 worth of food. Right now, we need Hunger Heroes just like you.
Will you please consider becoming a Summer Hunger Hero for kids? Your gift will go to work immediately to feed kids in our community. Help one child, or as many as you can, because every child deserves a hunger-free summer. Read More …
May 26, 2017
Last summer, a co-worker and I were at the Holden Community Center for an event. The majority of people there were children ranging from elementary to high school. School was starting soon, and they were there with a parent to receive book bags and assorted items for the upcoming school year.
While we sat at our table, a teenaged boy, probably late middle school to high school age, passed by our table. The words that came out of his mouth were unforgettable.
“Thank you,” he said. I was taken off guard with his statement and downplayed my confusion to reply, “You’re very welcome, for…”
The teenaged boy smiled and explained that every day, the Second Harvest Meals for Good food trucks came by his neighborhood to feed him, and he really loved the food. He then thanked me again for what I did for kids like him.