New Board Member Spotlight: Peg Cornwell

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is excited to welcome Peg Cornwell to its Board of Directors. Peg moved to Central Florida in 2015 with her husband Grant, the 15th president at Rollins College. She recalls how one first gets immediately caught up in the beautiful weather and the tremendous sense of community and pride that most people in Orlando have for their communities.

Q: How did you first get involved with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida?

I began to learn about and experience many of the challenges facing our community from research projects in which Rollins students were engaged. This included documentaries in Apopka, projects based on the service and tourism industry, and an economic impact study for Second Harvest Food Bank. These projects helped me understand how the Central Florida economy continues to evolve from being tourism-based, into one that is diversified into many sectors.

Q: Why are you passionate about ending hunger in Central Florida?

Where we moved from in Ohio, I was a volunteer at the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank and saw how local non-profits relied heavily on their support to feed those in need. While food insecurity was an issue in that community, I didn’t see it up close and personal like I have here in Orlando.  

The fact is that 1 in 6 Central Floridians struggle with the reality of hunger and food insecurity is staggering. And while Second Harvest and its network of feeding partners were able to provide 54 million meals last year, a meal gap still exists. These facts, and the groundbreaking work being on health and hunger, inspired me to join the fight to help stop the cycle of hunger.

Q: What do you wish others knew about hunger in our community?

First, hunger does not discriminate. The hunger picture in Central Florida includes the faces of children, seniors, working adults and people who never expected to find themselves on the receiving end of a food pantry.

Second, the US Farm Bill does more to alleviate hunger through nutrition programs than its name implies. If you do one thing today, look up the far-reaching impact of the 2018 Farm Bill.

More About Peg

Peg Cornwell earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Lawrence University. Following graduation, she worked as a commercial loan officer in New York and Chicago before returning to St. Lawrence when her husband joined the faculty. There, she completed a master’s degree in counseling and human development, followed by appointments as director of career services and project director for the university’s student Leadership Academy. During her husband’s presidency

of The College of Wooster, she established the Wooster Parents Leadership Council. Since the Cornwell’s arrival at Rollins College in August 2015, Peg has become engaged with the campus and local communities. She is active in Rotary and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce. Peg and her husband have two sons, Tosh and Kelsey; two cats, Piper and Scot; and a dog, Sailor.

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