Second Harvest has been hard at work during the 2017 holidays. As you make your resolutions for the New Year, don’t forget to add being an advocate for Second Harvest to your list!
Here’s what we’ve been up to in the last month:
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida & Congress
In December, we saw the passage of the Tax Bill in both the House and the Senate, and ultimately signed into law by the President. Second Harvest was against the Tax Bill because it failed to benefit individuals and families most at-risk of being food insecure in our community.
The measure also increased federal deficits by $1.5 trillion over ten years, and threatened future funding for federal nutrition assistance. Lastly, provisions within the bill effectively eliminated the deduction for charitable contributions, which encouraged charitable giving for more than a century. Indiana University estimated these changes could decrease charitable giving by as much as $10 billion per year.
Second Harvest Food Bank and the Florida Legislature
In the last month, we’ve had visits from two gubernatorial candidates: Chris King and Gwen Graham. King and campaign staff volunteered and sorted through canned goods. Afterwards, Second Harvest sat down with him to discuss the growing hunger issues in our community and some proposed policy changes we’d like to see.
Graham chose Second Harvest as her 47th work day. She spent the day with us learning about our mission, how we’re assisting Puerto Rican evacuees through our Culinary Training Program and constructed family food boxes for evacuees. Second Harvest also sat down with Graham to discuss policy changes. We’ll continue to demonstrate how we’re fighting hunger in our community to candidates from both sides in the coming months.
Second Harvest Food Bank and Local Governments
A special thank you to the Orange County Clerk of Court, Tiffany Moore Russell, Orange County Tax Collector, Scott Randolph, and their staff for donating food, water and supplies during our hurricane recovery efforts to help Puerto Rican evacuees.
Our team was able to assist Orange County Vice-Mayor Victoria Siplin for her Thanksgiving Turkey and Food Basket giveaway in conjunction with a financial management workshop at the Holden Heights Community Center. Vice Mayor Siplin served over 300 families!
Lastly, we partnered with Orange County Public Schools during our annual Holiday food drop on Saturday, December 16th. Thanks to the generous support from CarMax, Publix and First United Methodist Church, we were able to add new locations and provided fresh produce, canned and dry items, baked goods and a whole frozen turkey to each family in need. With their help, we served 2,250 families throughout 8 local schools in Orange County!
Stay tuned for updates in the New Year on the Advocacy Team, the “A-team”, online at www.feedhopenow.org/advocacy.
Director of Advocacy and Government Relations
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida