On Thursday, June 21, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida delivered the one-millionth meal through its Summer Food Service Program. Launched in 2008, the program provides children with continued access to healthy meals during the summer break.
Festivities kicked off on Wednesday morning as volunteers prepared meals in Second Harvest’s production kitchen. Volunteers created an organized system to create chicken and cheese burritos with a black bean and corn salsa. The meals were sealed and boxed for the big day.
Then on Thursday, another team of volunteers joined in the celebration by affixing a special sticker to signify the 1 millionth meal.
The meal joined about 120 others in a warmer before being loaded on a food-truck style trailer and delivered to Barnett Park in Orange County.
Proudly wearing chef hats, the students at the Orange County Parks & Recreation site waited with great anticipation as their peers visited the food truck, each one hoping to receive the special meal.
The lucky recipient, Makhai, receives his meal from Chefs Rob and John.
As he returned to the lunch room, Makhai was greeted with cheers and his friends waved streamers and chanted “One Million Meals.”
Makhai is 8 years old and loves basketball. While he was disappointed the meal wasn’t pizza, his favorite, he gave the burrito a big thumbs up for taste. When he grows up, Makhai wants to be a chef and bake cakes. For now, he is glad to spend the summer with his friends.
About the Summer Food Service Program
Sixty percent of children in Central Florida qualify for free or reduced lunch, but only about 9 percent participate in the Summer Food Service Program, which launched in 2008 to provide students continued access to healthy meals during the summer break.
This year 118 locations are offering free lunch to children in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia and Brevard counties. Each meal consists of vegetables, fruit, dairy and a protein. Volunteers help package 6,500 meals a day for delivery.
Find a summer meal site near you or text FOOD to 877-877.
Ways to Help
- Volunteer to help package meals in our Production Kitchen at feedhopenow.org/volunteer.
- Host a Virtual Food Drive to engage family, friends and co-workers in a group effort to support the Summer Hope for Kids campaign.
- Advocate and help educate others about hunger in Central Florida.
- Donate funds. For every $10 donated, Second Harvest is able to provide 40 meals for kids and families in need.