Building Solutions to Hunger …

The future of hunger relief in Central Florida is coming into focus more and more each day. Second Harvest Food Bank’s Building Solutions to Hunger project will move the possibilities forward in dramatic fashion by creating much-needed capacity that will help provide food for thousands more families in need every year.    

A new facility is planned at the corner of Old Winter Garden Road and Mercy Drive in Orlando. More than two years in the planning, this vital project will help to ensure that the Food Bank no longer must turn away millions of pounds of available food each year. On the contrary; the additional coolers, freezers, and new overall capacity will allow for many millions of additional pounds of food to flow to those who desperately need our help.   

From humble beginnings, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has grown over nearly three decades into a major part of the solution to hunger in our community. But so much more remains to be accomplished for our seniors, children, working poor families, and others who are struggling. With such a wealth of food resources available, it would be tragic to allow the challenges of adequate infrastructure to continue limiting our work in such a serious way as it does today.  

Consider these facts as proof of what can be accomplished moving forward:

  • Just 16 years ago, Second Harvest Food Bank was collecting and distributing six million pounds of food per year for our neighbors in need, but had reached a plateau of capacity that meant ‘no more growth’ without a new facility.
  • A capital campaign in the mid-nineties allowed for the purchase of new facilities, and a huge amount of new capacity.
  • Having the new capacity available back then allowed the Food Bank to increase its service to more than 32 million pounds distributed just  last year alone!    But today we find ourselves with the same capacity dilemma we faced in the nineties. 
  • The completion of the new facility on Mercy Drive will allow the same sort of dramatic leap forward in service delivery that we’ve accomplished over the last decade and a half.                                     

So what will it take to make this urgent project possible? A community that cares, and agrees that living with hunger’s ‘status quo’ is unacceptable. Moreover, it will take people who care enough to invest in making the vision a reality for so many of our neighbors. In short, “We can’t do it without you…”   

To date, our fundraising campaign has great momentum, and we find ourselves nearing a point at which we could break ground on the new facility in a period of mere months. Incredibly generous local corporations, foundations, and individuals have stepped up to get the campaign started, but more investment is needed to make this project happen.

In terms of the food value that this facility will provide for Central Florida over the next 20 years, the return on a charitable investment is an incredible 1400%. That’s right–$1.4 Billion dollars worth of food will be provided (and that is a conservative estimate).  

Among our generous investors so far, we include:

  • Morgan & Morgan, P.A.
  • Darden Restaurants Foundation/Capital Grille
  • Second Harvest Food Bank Board of Directors
  • Dr. Phillips Charities
  • Baker Barrios Architects
  • CNL Commercial Real Estate
  • Burke, Hogue & Mills Architects
  • Brasfield & Gorrie Construction
  • Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation
  • The Golf Channel

and many others.        

Meaningful naming/dedication opportunities remain at this date, as well as leadership volunteer opportunities. We hope that you will consider carefully what your part in this exciting project could be.    

Below is our Building Solutions to Hunger Capital Campaign video:

For more information, take a moment to visit www.showmercynow.org  or give me a call or email.    Thank you!

Greg Higgerson, CFRE
Vice-President, Development

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