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 …

July 15, 2014

CHOP: The Choosing Healthy Options Program

Author: Jomy Leon-Rivera


The Choosing Healthy Options Program (CHOP) is an inventory ranking system that simplifies nutrition. CHOP helps food banks and their partners acquire, distribute and promote healthier food. CHOP is a tool that helps us fight hunger, feed hope and fuel health in our community.

CHOP uses the Nutrition Facts Label and ingredient list to analyze and rank food, comparatively. Foods are organized into categories and ranked among other similar foods. For example, vegetables are ranked among other vegetables. Beverages are ranked among other beverages. Snacks & desserts are ranked among other snacks & desserts, and so on.

Foods will receive a ranking of 1 (choose frequently), 2 (choose occasionally), 3 (choose sparingly) or MC (minimal contribution). Items with more saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol, and added sugar rank closer to a 3. Items with more fiber, vitamins, and minerals rank closer to a 1. These rankings are a simple way agencies can select the most nutritious items in our warehouse to distribute to their clients.

Below are a few examples of items in our warehouse with their ranking.

Read More …

July 10, 2014

Summer Food Program, Sanford

Author: Santos Maldonado

The Seminole Gardens Apartment complex is made up of one hundred and eight units tucked away in a pocket of poverty a mere twenty-five minute walk  from the Palm Island Resort Marina on upscale Sanford Riverwalk.

Day to day life for residents of the “Gardens”, a small community living in cinder block buildings surrounded by open areas, ironically devoid of foliage, is difficult at best and harshest during the long summers when children have little to do while school is out.

The Summer Food Service Program provides meals to children in low income areas such as Seminole Gardens, yet the nearest feeding station is over a mile away, too far to reach under the scorching sun.

The “Gardens” has been trying in vain for two years to participate in the program according to Shayon Washington. Since last February, Second Harvest Food Bank has been working with area volunteers and churches to find a way to transport food directly to this community. Read More …

July 2, 2014

2014 David Pearlman Spirit of Volunteerism Award

Author: Dave Krepcho

For those of you who have been around Second Harvest Food Bank for a number of years, you may have known one of our organization’s pioneers…Dave Pearlman.  Dave Pearlman was the founder and owner of a little furniture company here in Orlando called Kane’s Furniture.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?  Not so little anymore, for sure.

There have been few people, if any, more passionate about reducing food waste and feeding people in need than Dave Pearlman.  He was a man who got up before dawn to drive his trailer around to the back doors of restaurants each day collecting whatever they had available, and delivering it to feeding programs.  He served on the Second Harvest Board of Directors for many years, and the food pantry program at Jewish Family Services in Orlando bears his name.  Though Dave is no longer with us, he left a legacy of involvement, action, and hope.  He proved the impact that one individual can have on a serious problem.

Today I have the pleasure and honor of recognizing another such individual.  Someone who has gone above and beyond for our neighbors.  Someone who is driven to action by the thought of a child going hungry, or a family in need.  Someone who is determined to bring together the resources that can help a community take care of its own.   Read More …