Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
In the last seven days, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida heeded the warnings ahead of Hurricane Dorian. The Food Bank staged bottled water and disaster relief food boxes at the ready, urged residents to ensure their preparations were in order, gassed up the generator and hoped for the best.
Through the waiting and watching, volunteers continued to help sort food donations and package meals at the food bank. Many thanks to the individuals who helped the production kitchen to expand its capacity to serve 4,100 meals and 4,400 snacks to evacuees at Orange County special needs shelters and American Red Cross shelters in Osceola and Brevard counties. These meals were a welcome sight and comfort during a prolonged period of uncertainty.
In addition, Second Harvest assisted Seniors First and the Meals on Wheels program with 641 meals as life in Central Florida returned to normal.
While Central Florida did not experience widespread damage from Hurricane Dorian, it is possible for low-income families in our community to be feeling a financial strain. Those who missed out on a few days of work (possibly unpaid) as their employers reduced hours or closed during the storm period may be vulnerable and seeking food assistance in the days ahead. Anyone seeking food assistance locally can visit www.feedhopenow.org/need to locate an emergency food pantry or feeding partner in their area.
Hurricane season continues until November 30, 2019. Residents are encouraged to store their hurricane food and water supplies to be prepared for the possibility of another storm. However, Second Harvest Food Bank will accept donations of non-perishable food and water from the general public to be used for local food assistance and distribution. Donations may be brought to our warehouse locations in Orlando, Brevard or Volusia County.
- Orlando. Donations can be dropped off at our main facility located at 411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL 32805 Monday through Saturday between the hours of 8am – 4pm. Please come in through the entrance on Mercy Dr. and proceed straight to the loading dock area where your donation will be weighed and you will be provided with a receipt.
- Volusia County. To coordinate a food drive for our Volusia Branch, please contact them directly at 386-257-4499. Donations can be dropped off at 320 North Street, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.
- Brevard County. To coordinate a food drive for our Brevard Branch, please contact them directly at 321-733-1600. Donations can be dropped off at 6928A Vickie Circle, West Melbourne, FL 32904.
As a member of Feeding America and the nationwide network of 200 food banks, Second Harvest continues to monitor the path of Hurricane Dorian up the East Coast and is prepared to help affected states if called upon us to do so.
Second Harvest Food Bank is highly concerned about our neighbors in the Bahamas but is not collecting financial or food donations for the relief efforts in the Islands. As a domestic hunger-relief organization, our focus is on our neighbors in need in Central Florida. People interested in helping provide aid to the recovery effort can visit www.bahamas.com/relief to learn more about the specific needs following the devastating storm.
To learn more about Second Harvest’s disaster relief efforts, visit www.feedhopenow.org/disaster.