When I started the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program, it changed my life.
Before this program, I was an assistant manager at a gas station, but even with that job, it was still a struggle for my husband and me to keep our heads above water. When I heard about this program from a friend, I hesitated to call, at first. When I finally did, though, I never could have imagined how much my life was about to change for the better.
In the beginning, it was a huge challenge for me. My hours were cut to part-time at work, and we were relying on my husband’s small income. I was worried I would have to quit and find more work so we wouldn’t get behind on bills. Read More …
June 27, 2017
Since 2014, as the school year comes towards an end, members of different local Lockheed Martin divisions have been coming together to fight hunger for kids and their families over the summer months by starting a virtual food drive.
As part of their corporate-wide, annual food drive event, Mission: Engage, Nourish, Unite (M.E.N.U.), Lockheed Martin employees all across the nation compete to fundraise for causes close to their hearts. For the past few years, the food bank has been very fortunate to be a local beneficiary to these efforts from two different Lockheed locations!
Each year, Lockheed’s Sandlake Mission and Fire Control (MFC) location splits into teams by department and competes against each other, while Lockheed’s Lake Underhill location rallies together to raise more money. Over the past few years of getting to know so many participants in both locations, it’s been fun and enlightening to watch the competition on a regional and local level, but one thing is for sure: together they have made a huge impact for local kids and their families.
June 12, 2017
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 …