Last month, Second Harvest participated in Children’s Week in Tallahassee with sister food banks in our Feeding Florida network. We were joined by Feeding the Gulf Coast, Feeding Tampa Bay, and Second Harvest of the Big Bend.
Our mission was to engage the crowds to build Kids’ Packs. These are easy to make packs of shelf-stable food that go home with elementary students who do not have enough food in their homes for the weekend. They contain food easy enough for kids to make on their own if needed and are discreetly placed in backpacks during recess to reduce stigma on the need for food.
During our visit to Tallahassee, we advocated on behalf of our budget request for $350,000 to expand and enhance our culinary training program that has a 100% job placement rate after graduation. With this funding, we’ll be able to increase the number of students from 60 to 80 students. The funding will provide hands-on experience with barista and baking skills. By expanding student knowledge and experience with different aspects of the industry, it will increase their employability. Baking skills especially are highly sought after by employers. For more information on our request, follow this link.
During Children’s Week, we also celebrated Seniors Day and helped advocate for increased access to fresh produce for Seniors in Florida. We made produce packs with fresh Florida produce such as carrots, sweet potatoes, corn and a few other staples.
Thank you to State Senator Debbie Mayfield, State Representative Kamia Brown, State Representative Joy Goff-Marcil, State Representative Amy Mercado and State Senator Tom Wright who took time out of their busy schedules to build a few packs for children in need.
Update (05/07/2019): Unfortunately, this program was not funded by the state legislature in the 2019 legislative session. We will continue to seek funding from different avenues from the State. Thank you to State Senator David Simmons and State Representative Kamia Brown for sponsoring and advocating on our behalf.