We can look with hope to the future because of the phenomenal year we just experienced. However, our work is bitter sweet because while we succeeded in distributing more food than ever before, the mere fact that we need to do so is a reflection of the plight of thousands of our neighbors.
Incredible opportunities existed this past year and we were able to see so much come to fruition. The single biggest accomplishment was the completion of the new Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center. This 100,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art center in Orlando was finished on time and on budget.
Morgan & Morgan provided the leadership to make this project a reality as our lead investor in the community. The facility is having a positive impact as well in all six Counties we serve because our capacity to provide more food has greatly increased.
More nutritious foods are being distributed due to a 450% increase in cooler and freezer space. Huge opportunity has been realized in the number of people getting involved in our mission through the Disney Volunteer areas; improved and increased service to our partner feeding programs in the Dr. Phillips Charities Agency Mart; changing lives through our culinary training program in the Darden Community Kitchen and Morgridge Family Foundation Classroom.
In addition, significant financial support was provided by the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation; Bank of America, Publix and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Right at the beginning of this effort, the Second Harvest Board of Directors all stepped up and invested showing their personal commitment. Many others provided phenomenal support as well. We feel a sense of deep gratitude for the generosity to the people of Central Florida.
The new facility will provide Central Florida provide a significant return on investment in terms of over a billion dollars’ worth of food during the next twenty years.
We appreciate the incredible service and dedication of our five hundred plus partner agencies; the food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and feeding programs. They are doing heroic work day-in-and-day-out. Without their partnership, our hunger relief network reaches just over 500,000 people each year.
We also want to take this opportunity to let you know that it’s not only important what we do but also how we do it. Second Harvest is Central Florida’s hunger relief network; we multiply the power of giving and distribute $9 worth of groceries for every dollar donated.
Charity Navigator, the foremost charity watchdog in the nation, awarded us their highest rating of Four Stars once again.
With your investment in the community we continue to close the gap between people in need and the millions of pounds of food that is wasted each year.