October 23, 2017

Canstruction: Orlando, We Shrunk the Hunger!

Author: Brie Rios


We’re so happy to see Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Canstruction Orlando getting some well deserved news coverage for all the awesome things they do in our community.
We’re also pretty excited to see our laser on the news. Check it out and then go vote for “Laser Focused” structure to win People’s Choice (pretty please). Here’s the link https://goo.gl/wTtReM

Posted by Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, Engineers, Planners on Sunday, October 22, 2017

Canstruction has begun! On Sunday, October 22, nine teams of local architects, engineers and organizations came together to build some truly magnificent structures – all out of canned and non-perishable goods! This year’s theme is “Orlando, We Shrunk the Hunger” and ringing in at 10,377 food items so far, these teams are doing just that!

This build aims to help raise awareness of the 1 in 6 Central Floridians who are in need of food assistance, and at the end of the competition, everything used in the structures will be donated directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Read More …

October 19, 2017

Childhood Hunger in Lake County

Author: Erika Spence

In Central Florida, one in four children is at risk of going to bed hungry. Sadly, hunger can dramatically impact a student’s ability to perform well in school and affect their interest in engaging with the world around them. Thanks to the National School Lunch Program, many students are able to access free breakfast and lunch during the school week. However, many of these students return to school on Monday with empty stomachs and are unable to concentrate on their lessons.

In 2016, Lake Cares Food Pantry, one of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s feeding partners, took over a weekend backpack program at Triangle Elementary School in Mt. Dora. Many of the families that access its main pantry have students who attend the school, where 86% of the students participate in the National School Lunch Program. Each week, Lake Cares provides 35-40 backpacks filled with peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit cups, snacks and other non-perishable items. Read More …

October 18, 2017

How Do You Measure a Year?

Author: Erika Spence

The rock musical Rent asks, “How do you measure a year?” One year after graduating from Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Culinary Training Program, Susan Anderson measures her year in three words: Courage. Discipline. Confidence.

Anderson originally applied to the inaugural Culinary Training Program class in 2013, but delayed entry because she wasn’t ready. She hesitated to take such a big leap and change careers. Her wages stagnated, she lost her car, and then her home. She reapplied with the hope of a new beginning for her family.

“I was working in retail management and food service but my career was stalled,” recalls Anderson. “Completing this program gave me the courage to step outside my comfort zone and see the opportunities for better wages and marketable skills.” Read More …

October 17, 2017

A Focus on Healthy Pantries

Author: Guest Blogger

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has been working hard to contribute to the Central Florida community’s health and wellness. Because food insecurity is one of the leading factors contributing to chronic disease and illness among people who are low income and living in poverty, Second Harvest created the Healthy Pantry Network Coordinator position through a West Orange Healthcare District grant.  While the focus of the grant is on feeding partners within the footprint of the West Orange Health District, all of our agency partners are able and encouraged to contact me for information and guidance to improve the health status of their pantry.

Already St. Andrews Catholic Church has been working closely with me to implement as many health upgrades to their pantry as possible. They’ve been extremely receptive and interested in the nutrition information for their client’s food bags and we’ve been able to communicate about healthier foods for their homeless population too. In addition, they invited UF/IFAS Extension’s Family and Nutrition Program to come out to a food distribution event to provide nutrition education to their clients.

I look forward to being a resource for our partners on health and wellness initiatives.

– Rachel Stankiewitch

October 16, 2017

Agency Spotlight: Mission Market Promotes Healthier Eating for Their Clients

Author: Agency Relations

Catholic Charities Food Pantry, one of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s feeding partners, has undergone a makeover. When clients enter the food pantry at Catholic Charities, commonly referred to now as Mission Market, they are suddenly immersed into the bustling streets of a farmer’s market.

The new pantry promotes client choice, with fresh produce displayed in a warm and inviting way, showcasing all the colors of a rainbow. Clients can walk through the doors and see to their right hefty amounts of produce abundantly displayed, and to their left a tall shelf full of various grains. Health and nutrition education material, available in English and Spanish, are also on display.

This new pantry model promotes health and wellness for the clients served at Catholic Charities. Vision and support from Senior Director of Operations, Julie Yetter, and the tireless energy of their Food and Facilities Ministry Manager, John Bonfiglio, have made this transition not just possible, but successful. Read More …

October 10, 2017

Charity Navigator Confirms 4-Star Rating

Author: Erika Spence

This October, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida achieved a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator for the eighth year in a row! This coveted rating demonstrates Second Harvest’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency.

At Second Harvest, we are proud of this accomplishment because it reaffirms our values of integrity, accountability, service and stewardship.

You may recall in September, Charity Navigator also recognized Second Harvest as one of the best organizations to donate to in the wake of Hurricane Irma. In a Business Insider article, a Charity Navigator spokesperson explained that local organizations will continue to work in the community long after a disaster has occurred. Read More …