April 19, 2017

Our Kids Cafe Story

Author: Santos Maldonado

Our organization quickly embraced America’s Second Harvest’s (what is now Feeding America) Kids Cafe Program soon after it was conceived in 1993. Since then, over 60 different locations in four counties have benefited from this prepared meal program.

  • Since 1993, over 2.2 million meals have been served.
  • 33% of those in the last 3 years.
  • From inception to 2015, prepared meals were purchased from an external vendor.
  • In October of 2015, our production kitchen began delivering cold meals.
  • In February of 2016, we partnered with Orange County Parks & Recreation to provide meals to their 12 after school centers!
  • In August of 2016, our kitchen began serving hot meals.
  • Last December, we opened up our first Kids Cafe in Brevard County.
  • Just last month, we opened up our second Brevard Kids Cafe.
  • Today, we serve over 1,400 kids each day at 27 different locations in 4 counties.View a Map of current sites.

Read More …

April 17, 2017

Why I Believe In Summer Hope for Kids

Author: Melissa Kear

Growing up as a kid who lived in a food insecure household, I wasn’t nearly as excited for summer as most of my classmates. Sure, school was out, which meant not having to wake up early to catch the bus, spend my days doing homework, or sitting in a classroom instead of being outside, but it also meant no more school meals. When you live in a working-poor family, who is struggling to make ends meet and has to constantly make tough decisions, having enough food in the fridge is a constant worry and stress.

My story is a small example of the one in four kids who struggle in Central Florida with hunger. As an adult, I understand the importance first hand of summer feeding programs, and my own experiences are a huge driving force in my daily work. Every year more feeding sites are popping up all over Central Florida, working to reach low-income areas and food deserts to make nutritious meals accessible for local kids. Read More …

March 10, 2017

Puddin’ and the Grumble Blog

Author: Sasha Hausman

Puddin' and the Grumble FloridaNeed a fun Spring Break outing idea? We have the perfect thing for you and your kids! A beautiful play called Puddin’ and the Grumble is coming to Second Harvest Food Bank on Wednesday, March 22nd at 10 am. This is a free event and great for kids in grades 3 – 5. Come join us!

Puddin’ has a secret and if she doesn’t do something fast, it may just eat her alive! To make matters worse, her mom is sending her away, she has to start a new school, and soon she’ll be stuck living with her crazy, ex-lounge singing, yoga-loving grandma. Can things get any worse? Or maybe, just maybe, they’re about to get better…

Puddin’ and the Grumble fearlessly tackles childhood hunger and is perfect for all audiences. Read More …

September 14, 2016

A Successful 27th Year at Orlando’s Taste of the Nation

Author: Melissa Kear

thank-you-2016On August 27th, 2016, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry celebrated it’s 27th year by raising a whopping $279,487 to help ensure children struggling with hunger in our city and across America are connected to the meals they need this coming year – but they didn’t do it alone.

Forty-four of the area’s most distinguished chefs along with nearly two dozen craft brewers, wine purveyors and spirit vendors came together that night at the Orlando World Center Marriott  to serve sips and samples to a record attendance of more than 3,000 guests.

One of the region’s longestrunning food and beverage fundraising events, Orlando’s Taste of the Nation is a volunteer-driven event organized each year by an all-volunteer steering committee representing a variety of local businesses and organizations, supported by more than 300 day-of event volunteers, and made possible by the in-kind support of a variety of local business partners. Read More …

September 1, 2016

Summer Food Rocks…And Rolls!

Author: Santos Maldonado

Summer Feeding SitesOur Summer Food Program for Children has never experienced such maneuverable mobility! We accelerated our pace by serving almost 175,000 freshly prepared breakfasts, hot lunches and snacks to youngsters in underserved areas who were on school vacation. All that in a mere 46 days!

Approximately 94 different locations in 5 counties went on a healthy nutritional ride, finally dashing across the finish line on Friday, August 12. On Monday, the kids were once again able to get their free school cafeteria lunches. This program “track” results in a “seamless” nutritional experience whereby the last turn is deftly handled, putting us in full control of the wheel as we throttle up our Kids Cafe Afterschool Meal Program that runs through next June. Read More …

July 21, 2016

My Virtual Food Drive Experience

Author: Melissa Kear

vfdOver the past four years, I have had the chance to meet and get to know some pretty great people through our Virtual Food Drive. For them, this tool is an easy and interactive way to raise money toward ending hunger in their community, provides a great representation of how far their monetary donations can really go, and fun to use.

At Second Harvest Food Bank, we are able to turn any $1 donation into $9 in grocery value. The food bank’s incredibly efficient distribution model gives every dollar donated exponentially more power over what you could buy in a store, giving even the smallest donation an impact on hunger. The virtual food drive shopping cart helps provide an illustrative representation of this. For example, a $7 donation has the potential to provide 288 tomatoes, or a $12 donation to provide 45 pounds of cheese!  Read More …