A gallon of milk may seem like a small thing. It is often just an errand to pick up on the way home from work. But at $4, or more, a gallon of milk may be out of reach for a family struggling to put food on the table.
Last year, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributed enough food to provide 58 million meals – more than 52% was fresh food. With a significant meal gap and a focus on increasing the distribution of fresh, healthy foods including dairy, produce and protein, the food bank is strengthening its network’s capacity to ensure feeding partners are equipped to receive such items. Through the Agency Benefit Program, Second Harvest’s capacity building initiative, partners can request or apply for equipment such as freezers, refrigerators, shelving and other items that bolster their ability to efficiently store and disperse more healthy food.
Thanks to supporters like Manna Medical, the capacity building initiative recently made 11 used refrigerators and freezers available to feeding partners.
“We’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this,” said Michelle Berardi of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church Outward Sign in South Lake County. Their pantry has operated for the last two years offering dry goods and pantry staples to an average of 67 families per week. The addition of refrigeration will allow the pantry to provide eggs, milk and produce on a regular basis.
When David Torres from Good Samaritan Outreach of Orlando picked up a refrigerator/freezer unit he said, “This is bigger than I thought it would be.”
David immediately began to think of how many more families could be helped once he replaces some aging equipment with the new one.
“These kids, they smile when you give them a box of Cheerios,” he said, adding, “It touches your heart.”
Now, thanks to the donated unit, David will be able to provide milk to pair with boxes of cereal to families in his community.
Learn more about Second Harvest’s Nutrition initiatives on our website.