Melbourne Elks Help Stock Shelves at Brevard Pantries

Tonight, one in four children in Central Florida are at risk of going to bed hungry. The Melbourne Elks Lodge is working hard to help keep those tummies full.

On September 27, Lodge 1744 presented a $4,000 check to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. That money will be shared among 10 local feeding partners in the Melbourne-Palm Bay area – providing approximately 16,000 meals to kids, families and seniors in need of food assistance.

“We found this to be a very worthy cause,” said Joyce Madden, president of The Melbourne Elks Lodge 1744. “It is our hope that this donation today will go a long way to stomping out hunger in Brevard County.”

The Elks have a long history of supporting childhood causes. With 49% of Brevard County children participating in free and reduced-price lunch programs, hunger relief became a focus of the local chapter three years ago. When Tom Wojar, grant coordinator for the lodge, researched potential recipients for this grant he noted two key determining factors: 100% of funds donated to Second Harvest stay in the local community and the organization has a 97% efficiency ratio, meaning 97 cents of every dollar is directed to feeding people.

“You’re the most efficient people we know,” Tom remarked.

Several local feeding partners joined in the presentation to show their appreciation to the Elks for supporting the work accomplished by their food pantries.

“This grant will be a tremendous help as we try to keep up with demand,” explained Reinaldo Glaze, a volunteer from Lochmar Baptist Church in Palm Bay. The pantry served 199 households in the last quarter.

His sentiments were echoed by Mark Harpold from Eau Gallie First Baptist Church who added, there’s nothing like seeing a client return with a success story. “They beam from ear to ear to say they are grateful for the support while they got back on their feet.”

You can help close the meal gap in Central Florida by hosting a FUNdraiser or food drive, volunteering or attending an upcoming event. To learn more ways to get involved, visit www.feedhopenow.org/ways.

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