From 1994 to 1997, Second Harvest Food Bank experienced a very important growth spurt. This growth was made possible through capital campaign gifts totaling more than $2 million, which allowed the organization to purchase, renovate, and expand a 35,000 square foot distribution center on Brengle Drive in Orlando.
As the ‘founding entity’ of Second Harvest Food Bank a decade before (1983), the local Orlando congregation of the Community of Christ was very interested in the opportunity to create a food bank that would provide for feeding more people in need. Dick Braby, the pastor at that time rallied support of a few congregants to pursue the idea. He then appealed to the Community of Christ, headquarters in Independence, Missouri, for funds from the Tangible Love program to help get the project off the ground. Greg Savage (pictured above) was a member of the Tangible Love committee at that time which authorized a two-year grant so the fledgling food bank could expand.
From 2001-2006, Mr. Savage was assigned the bishop to the Community of Christ, Florida jurisdiction and had the occasion to tour the facilities located on Brengle Drive in Orlando. During this time, Second Harvest board member Bob Lawrence and Mr. Savage worked together in providing funds from local, regional, and World Church sources to Second Harvest particularly during the hurricane seasons. Little could Savage have imagined that the new space on Brengle Drive would grow from 6 million pounds of annual distribution of food to more than 40 million pounds over the next 17 years!
Mr. Savage recently visited the Morgan & Morgan PA Hunger Relief Center, the Food Bank’s newest ‘launching pad.’ Needless to say, he was amazed and thrilled at the growth to more than 63 million pounds of annual distribution since the Church’s original investment – one that has paid off many times over in hope for hundreds of thousands of our struggling neighbors.
If you would like to experience the operations of the food bank and learn more about hunger in our community, consider registering for a Food for Thought Tour. During this one-hour information session, you will learn more about who is hungry in our community and then take a walking tour of the food bank to see how we operate, plus enjoy a meal on us! Review a list of upcoming dates and register online.