Hunger Action Day is a day set aside during Hunger Action Month each September to raise awareness and inspire communities to take action on behalf of those who do not know where their next meal will come from. In Central Florida, 1 in 6 people are food insecure. Even more staggering, 1 in 4 children are at risk of going to bed hungry tonight.
This year, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida marked September 13th with a mobile food drop in partnership with Southeastern Grocers (parent company of Winn-Dixie) and Family Ties Ministries, one of over 550 feeding partners in the food bank’s network of pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and senior programs.
Each month Family Ties Ministries hosts a mobile food drop to distribute fresh produce and other nutritious foods directly to residents in Bithlo, an underserved community in Orange County where many live below the poverty level and have limited access to transportation.
Winn-Dixie donated $25,000 worth of fresh produce and non-perishable store-brand items for the distribution, as part of a larger effort with the Feeding America network of food banks to host mobile food pantries across the Southeast. Employees worked alongside Family Ties volunteers to help feed 280 families and 1,141 individuals.
Food recipients included retired veterans, seniors, single mothers and Puerto Ricans still seeking stability one year after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. The first person in line ended her shift at a local hotel early in that morning and drove directly to the Moose Lodge on East Colonial Drive to wait for food.
“My SNAP benefits run out the third week of the month,” she explained. “I’d rather be here early and know I have something to eat than wait to come later. What if I overslept?”
Thank you, Hunger Heroes across Central Florida, for taking action throughout the month of September to help feed our neighbors in need. There’s still time to get involved at www.feedhopenow.org/ham.