There’s a lot of incredibly negative news lately in our country and around the world. Divisiveness, verbal and physical attacks, wars with words and wars with bombs. We can easily get swept up into a feeling of despair and a loss of hope. Then there are experiences that feed the soul, I was fortunate to have one of those recently.
I had the privilege and opportunity to speak at UCF’s 22nd Annual Hunger Banquet that their Student Involvement Office organizes. As I made my way through the maze of buildings on the UCF campus I found my destination; the Student Union Building, at the very heart of the campus. I found it fascinating that in the main floor of that building is a giant food court offering a variety of different types of food….and this is where the “Hunger Banquet” is taking place. It was another reminder that food is typically at the center of things and is powerful in terms of drawing people together, whether it’s at school, home or at the office.
The room was filled with 200 – 250 students who are deeply interested in making the world a better place. Wow, talk about a good vibe. The group was split into three groups for dinner. Read More …
November 19, 2015
From time to time, staff from the Second Harvest Food Bank’s agency relations department like to drop in on our partner feeding programs to understand the logistics of their distribution and also to interact first hand with our clients. Recently, I stopped by a local pantry run by a primarily Hispanic church called L’englise Evangillique.
I arrived a half hour before the distribution was due to start. As I walked across the street to the white painted building on the side of the church, which is the location of the pantry, I was spotted by an older woman in her late sixties holding an empty cardboard box. Although cheerful, it was obvious she had seen the more difficult side of life. She said hello, smiled at me, and told me where the line was. I told her thank you but that I was with Second Harvest and that I was just here to check in and see how things were going.
She looked at me. In her broken English, she said “You. You from Second Harvest?”
“Yes” I said.
I was unprepared for her reaction. She grabbed my arm tightly, lifted her head, and closed her eyes. Tears came down her face and she was unable to speak for a few moments.
“You” She said. “You are my angel!” Brushing away her tears she said, “My husband left me. My kids are grown and all live in Cuba. I had nothing. Because of you I have food!” She stated she worked as much as she could but still didn’t have money for food. She pointed to a lady close by and said she had just found a place to live with her. She motioned this person came over. “He is my angel!” she shouted, pointing to me. When it was time to leave, I thanked her and she gave me a huge hug that lasted for ages. I left terribly grateful for that experience.
This obviously had nothing to do with me and everything to do with all of the amazing folks at Second Harvest as well in our Partner Agencies. Everyone who doesn’t get to see clients first hand need to know she was talking directly to them as well.
In my short time here, I’ve learned there is so much need. There is vast hunger insecurity in the poor and working poor. And we do an amazing job in servicing this need. But I learned we do so much more. We had given more than food. We had restored hope. We had restored a sense of dignity. We had given someone in a difficult space peace of mind.
What an amazing place to work.
Agency Relations Coordinator
November 18, 2015
This November, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida achieved a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator for the sixth year in a row! Charity Navigator is our country’s top charity evaluator, and rates nonprofits all across the country for their fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.
Here at Second Harvest, we are proud of this achievement, because it reaffirms our commitment to holding ourselves accountable with how your gifts are used and managed. You can feel confident that your investment is going to fighting hunger and feeding hope in Central Florida.
Only 3% of charities have been rated 4-star 6 consecutive years, and we are proud to be one of them. It is because of you that we are able to make a difference in our community. Thank you for letting us be a part of your efforts to end hunger in Central Florida. Read More …
November 13, 2015
Did you receive a Scouting for Food bag last week? Now is the time to have it filled and sat out for pick up by local Boy Scout troops!
Last year, some 96,000 lbs of food were collected and boxed, then delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Help provide more meals to struggling families this holiday season.
Forget to set your bag out or were not in an area that received bags? You can still help! Simply bring your nonperishable donations to one of any of the locations below: Read More …
November 13, 2015
Representative Daniel Webster from the U.S. Congress spent time with us today. He has a sincere interest in keeping up to date on how Second Harvest is doing. We were able to give him a progress report on a number of areas:
– The past year we provided enough food for 44 million meals in central Florida
– Graduated our tenth class of culinary students and have a 100% job placement rate
– 96,000 volunteer hours were spent in the past year
– We’re in the midst of our $3 million capital campaign and are seeking community support.
– Our efforts in getting food out to rural and outlying areas
We appreciate the time and interest taken by Congressman Webster. It shows that he is genuinely interested in the community he serves. Read More …
November 6, 2015
Nothing else really matters–nothing is really possible–when you are hungry. The numbers regarding those dealing with hunger in Central Florida—including children— are heartbreaking and should inspire all of us to act, to refuse to accept this as inevitable. So I give to Feed the Need.
I give because I want to live in a community with healthy children and families. I give because I want to live in the type of community that takes care of those most in need. I give, quite frankly, because it’s the right thing to do, and I know Second Harvest Food Bank is going to be the best steward of my gift. I give because I know Feed the Need is making a difference.
The funny thing is, I thought I was doing this for other people, but I’ve discovered through giving that the person who gets the greatest unexpected reward from Feed the Need…is me!
Tom Hope, ’09 MBA
University of Central Florida
Assistant Vice President for Strategic Initiatives