October 6, 2017

Some of Our Youngest Hunger Heroes

Author: Erika Spence

The students at Hungerford Elementary School in Eatonville recently donated funds to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and while that is no small feat for any child, the story behind their donation is even more heartfelt.

Students at Hungerford recently read “Wishtree,” the latest book by award-winning children’s author Katherine Applegate. The story is about an old oak tree that watches over the neighborhood and receives wishes from its residents tied to its branches. Wishes for hope, peace, respect and all sorts of concerns.  Read More …

September 6, 2017

For Some Kids, Summer is Not a Vacation.

Author: Guest Blogger

For some Central Florida kids and teens and their families, summer is not necessarily a time for vacation. Instead, this season presents several problems for low-income families, especially those who do not qualify for SNAP.

 1. Central Florida is home to 289,348 students that rely on a nutritious breakfast and lunch through the National School Lunch program during the school year.[1] During the summer, families are responsible for an additional $30 in food per week per child.

2. The average cost of childcare is $173 per week per child in Central Florida – and that’s including subsidized options.[2] Summer camps can be too expensive and parents cannot afford to stay home from work. In many cases, elder children are saddled with the responsibility of caring for their younger siblings.

3. Summer means academic learning loss and playing catch-up when school resumes. Without academic engagement at home, students begin to forget and lose skills obtained during the school year.

Summer Food Service Program

Fortunately, the weight of these burdens is alleviated through programs like the Summer Break Spot, a USDA Summer Food Service Program, that empowers community organizations to partner together to diminish the impact of summertime on low-income kids, teens, and families.

Read More …

July 20, 2017

Summer Food 2017 Set to Break Records!

Author: Santos Maldonado

Second Harvest summer feeding sitesOur summer food program is off to a hot start with 93 locations in six counties participating between May 30th and July 7th. In the first week alone, 25,723 breakfasts, lunches and snacks were served.

As of July 7th, the program’s 5th week and halfway point, approximately 125,000 total meals were served to an estimated 3,500 kids.

At the current rate, we will reach our goal of 200,000 meals well before the program ends on August 11th.

Our growth has been dramatic but what’s even more remarkable is the improvement in the quality of meals and the innovative delivery methods we use to cover the large geographic footprint that comprises our service area. Read More …

July 13, 2017

If You Build It, They Will Come!

Author: Guest Blogger

One of our newest summer feeding site partners for the Summer Food Service Program in Central Florida is the W.T. Bland Public Library located in rural Mt. Dora, FL. With a ton of fun reading programs for kids and a neat hang-out space for teens, the library is making strides in minimizing learning loss and youth hunger during the summer.

In support of the library’s efforts, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida sends a mobile trailer to serve hot meals every day. This means that the library employees complete less paperwork and save space for their reading programs. However, the limited space in the library also meant limited space for the kids to eat. Read More …

June 27, 2017

How Lockheed Martin Inspired Their Peers to Fight Hunger This Summer

Author: Melissa Kear

Lockheed Martin Volunteers at Second Harvest Food BankSince 2014, as the school year comes towards an end, members of different local Lockheed Martin divisions have been coming together to fight hunger for kids and their families over the summer months by starting a virtual food drive.

As part of their corporate-wide, annual food drive event, Mission: Engage, Nourish, Unite (M.E.N.U.), Lockheed Martin employees all across the nation compete to fundraise for causes close to their hearts. For the past few years, the food bank has been very fortunate to be a local beneficiary to these efforts from two different Lockheed locations!

Each year, Lockheed’s Sandlake Mission and Fire Control (MFC) location splits into teams by department and competes against each other, while Lockheed’s Lake Underhill location rallies together to raise more money. Over the past few years of getting to know so many participants in both locations, it’s been fun and enlightening to watch the competition on a regional and local level, but one thing is for sure: together they have made a huge impact for local kids and their families.

Read More …

June 12, 2017

Our Summer Food Program for Kids Completes its First Week!

Author: Santos Maldonado

Second Harvest Food Bank Summer Feeding ProgramLast Monday, June 5th, our 10th annual, award-winning, Summer Food Program for Children began distributing hot lunches, breakfasts, and snacks to kids living in low-income areas across Central Florida.

During the long summer recess, children are unable to participate in the free school lunch program since cafeterias are closed. That’s when the Summer Food Program helps bridge the nutritional gap.

In our first week, over 40,000 meals were transported to 81 locations in 6 counties. Approximately 5,000 children were offered free meals every day. With 9 more weeks to go, our work is cut out for us. Read More …