Hurricane Michael devastated communities across the Florida Panhandle earlier this week. Before the storm made landfall, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida began making preparations to help our Florida neighbors. Our community knows what it is like to experience powerful storms – and the devastation and power outages that follow.
As part of the Feeding America national network of food banks, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is positioned to receive, prepare and distribute much-needed emergency food and supplies to the Florida panhandle. Earlier this summer, Second Harvest partnered with Feeding America and Abbott to assembled 1,000 food packs to prepare for hurricane season. These kits, along with an additional 2,000 boxes packed earlier this week, are now in route to Second Harvest of the Big Bend in Tallahassee.
Second Harvest Food Bank is also part of Feeding Florida. Feeding Florida’s statewide network of 12-member food banks have ramped up efforts to help families impacted by Michael.
“It always feels good to know you’re helping those in need,” said Julie, a volunteer in the Orlando warehouse. “We’ve had our share of storms, now it’s our turn to help.”
On Friday, volunteers continued packing additional disaster relief boxes with non-perishable food items, such as soup and stew, shelf-stable milk, peanut butter and canned pears. They were assisted by Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Congressman John Lewis, who thanked them for their time.
“There are a lot of families suffering right now,” said Congresswoman Murphy. “This is the kind of work where you can see the outcomes and the results and you know it really helps someone.”
Congressman Lewis echoed her saying, “When people are in trouble, when people need help, as good citizens, good human beings, we respond.”
These boxes along with bottled water will make their way to affected areas in the Florida Panhandle next week.
Three Ways You Can Help
1. Donating funds is the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to help families affected by a disaster. Financial donations offer the most flexibility to get the most-needed resources. Your donation allows organizations to:
- Purchase food, water and equipment from secure and familiar supply chains
- Buy materials locally to help rebuild the local economy
- Conserve resources. The cost to ship material supplies can be expensive.
2. Donate food. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida will collect non-perishable food items. Pop-top and ready-to-eat items are in the highest demand, such as canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats, soups and stews, rice, beans and peanut butter. You can view a list of critical needs on our website.
Where can I drop off my donations?
Location one: Donations can be dropped off at our main facility located at 411 Mercy Drive Orlando, FL 32805 typically 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.
Location two: 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.
Location three: 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.
We strongly advise you to call us before coming to drop off to make absolutely certain someone is on duty to receive your donation. Please do not leave food donations outside the door —there is a 100% chance they will be stolen before we can receive them. Please contact our main office at 407-295-1066 to confirm that we will be open.
3. Volunteer. Central Florida will continue to prepare and respond to disaster efforts. Projects will be interspersed with regular hunger relief activities at the Orlando warehouse. To sign up, visit www.feedhopenow.org/volunteer.