November 16, 2017

New Board Member Spotlight: Peg Cornwell

Author: Erika Spence

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is excited to welcome Peg Cornwell to its Board of Directors. Peg moved to Central Florida in 2015 with her husband Grant, the 15th president at Rollins College. She recalls how one first gets immediately caught up in the beautiful weather and the tremendous sense of community and pride that most people in Orlando have for their communities.

Q: How did you first get involved with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida?

I began to learn about and experience many of the challenges facing our community from research projects in which Rollins students were engaged. This included documentaries in Apopka, projects based on the service and tourism industry, and an economic impact study for Second Harvest Food Bank. These projects helped me understand how the Central Florida economy continues to evolve from being tourism-based, into one that is diversified into many sectors.

Q: Why are you passionate about ending hunger in Central Florida?

Where we moved from in Ohio, I was a volunteer at the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank and saw how local non-profits relied heavily on their support to feed those in need. While food insecurity was an issue in that community, I didn’t see it up close and personal like I have here in Orlando.   Read More …

November 16, 2017

Thank you for saving a single mother and her daughter

Author: Erika Spence

“Sometimes I think I would just give up if it weren’t for this little girl.”

As you reflect on the many things in your life to be thankful for this year, I hope you’ll take a moment to accept a thank you as well.

April and her daughter, Emily, are among the thousands of people in Central Florida who are truly grateful that people like you continue to care about them.

To escape an abusive husband, April and Emily had to leave their home over two years ago. Since then, April has worked at a variety of low-wage jobs; struggling just to afford to keep a roof over their heads. She told us that To not be able to bring food home to my little girl sometimes, it’s…beyond depression. Literally the pits of despair.”

To help put food on the table, April regularly visits a local emergency food pantry program that is supplied with food by Second Harvest Food Bank. “Sometimes I think I would just give up if it weren’t for this little girl,” says April.

This Thanksgiving, April and Emily have something they would like to tell you: “I want to say thank you…for saving a single mother and her daughter. You have been there when we needed your help. Thank you!” Read More …

November 15, 2017

The Mission Continues Makes Positive Impact in Local Schools

Author: Guest Blogger

This post was submitted by Matthew Tanner, City Impact Manager at The Mission Continues. The original post can be found on The Mission Continues’ blog.

The Mission Continues Orlando volunteers

Following the mass destruction in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria, The Mission Continues’ Orlando 1st and 2nd Service Platoons were driven to find a way to make a positive impact.

Home to one of the country’s largest Puerto Rican populations, Orlando has a deep relationship with the island, and has been projected to receive tens of thousands of Puerto Rican over the coming weeks and months who now live without a home or sense of normalcy.

Orlando’s 1st Service Platoon focuses on mentoring and working with youth who have come through the juvenile justice system in partnership with Home Builders Institute/Project Bridge.

Robert Withers, the Platoon Leader for this platoon, says that he feels connected to this mission because it allows his to address “issues affecting children who are typically the most vulnerable to suffering, and the least able to do anything about it.”

“I see the Orlando 1st reducing the number of incarcerated youth and empowering veterans to serve in new ways,” Robert said.

He explains why he is dedicated to serving others, especially on Veterans Day. “My time as Platoon Leader has reignited a passion for not only selfless service but mentorship and camaraderie.”

“I had an exceptionally difficult transition into civilian life after losing my leg and retiring from the Army. I needed a new direction to re-establish my sense of purpose. I wanted to continue serving my country through service to my community and regain the sense of purpose I felt I had lost.”

Orlando’s 2nd Service Platoon has been partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) to build food pantries in schools and feeding host partner locations across Orlando, which allows for them to maintain a larger supply of food to provide students, families and community members.   Read More …

November 10, 2017

Scouting for Food Media Day

Author: Erika Spence

Today, the Boy Scouts kicked off their annual Scouting for Food program with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Florida Hospital. The three organizations hosted a cooking demonstration to show how non-perishable foods can be used to make healthy, nutritious meals.

Chef John Dizon from Second Harvest and Cherrie Flynn, a Florida Hospital nutritionist, were on hand to talk about healthy non-perishable items, such as low sodium broths and vegetables, and offer simple recipes that two scouts were able to help prepare. Read More …

November 9, 2017

Table Sixty Fall Food Festival at Kaley Square

Author: Erika Spence

On Saturday, November 4th, Second Harvest Food Bank participated in a Fall Food Festival at Kaley Square in Orlando. It was the third food distribution event through Table Sixty, a collaborative effort created to make sure that seniors in Orange County don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Thousands of pounds of beautiful, fresh produce, bakery items and non-perishables were distributed to more than 120 households. In addition to the food distribution, blood pressure screenings, community resources, healthy recipes and nutrition information were also provided at the adjoining resource fair.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s own Chef Terah served a delicious nutrient-packed fruit salad highlighting the seasonal fruit available that day. Several attendees took advantage of Terah’s expertise to talk in detail about their health conditions and how adjusting their diets could help with conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. Read More …

November 9, 2017

Give A Meal – Or More!

Author: Erika Spence

Who doesn’t love to stretch a dollar? I know I’m guilty of seeking out BOGO deals and that I get excited about the promise of a free gift with purchase. Imagine what it would feel like to receive two free items for the price of one

That is exactly the kind of magic Bank of America is doing to amplify your donation and provide more meals for Central Florida families right now. Through the Give A Meal program, Bank of America is raising funds to feed people who struggle with hunger. In Central Florida, one in six people turn to Second Harvest Food Bank’s network of pantries and meal service programs annually. For every $1 donated to the program, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give $2 more.

This 2:1 match is only available for a limited time. Read More …