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 …

January 21, 2017

Saying Goodbye to a Food Bank Friend

Author: Erin Gray

Walt WillisWe wanted to share a little bit about a dear Food Bank friend of ours who sadly passed away recently.

When we think of a person who works with and helps the senior population in Central Florida, we instantly would think of Walt Willis.  Our seniors are one of the most vulnerable and growing populations in our country, and Walt was a man who devoted most of his life to helping them.

Throughout the years, Walt has been recognized for his service with seniors, including Volunteer of the Year with the City of Orlando and Every Day Heroes on Channel 13. At Second Harvest Food Bank we could always count on Walt to join any committee, council or subgroup that we had. Walt’s devotion to senior hunger was beyond commendable.   Read More …

January 6, 2017

Over 2,000 families assisted at Annual Holiday Food Drop

Author: Stephen Currence

2016 OCPS Holiday DropOur mission at Second Harvest is to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network, while multiplying the generosity of a caring community. We work with our community to erase the food gap that exists in Central Florida between families that have a need but not consistent access to food. This gap would be far worse without our partnership with the Orange County Public School (OCPS) system.

Each weekday children whose families deal with financial struggles, and the resulting food insecurity issues, receive free or reduced breakfast and lunches. In some areas in Orange County the percentage of low-income children is so high that many schools have 90% or more of their students receiving free and reduced lunch.

Second Harvest Food Bank offers several programs through our Childhood Hunger Program — which offers hot meals and nonperishable foods afterschool and over the weekends to children with food insecurity is. About eight years ago, Orange County Public Schools contacted Second Harvest to help bridge the gap that is left during the two-week school is out for winter break. Read More …

December 21, 2016

Apples for Christmas

Author: Dave Krepcho

Christmas applesThis time of year, I am reminded of the story of Cindy, a young single mother of a vivacious, red-headed six year old named Vivian. Having left an abusive situation almost two years before, Cindy was doing the best she could with the small amount she earned from her hourly-wage job. As Christmas approached, she worried that she would not have the ability to put food on the table, and contacted Second Harvest to learn whether help might be available. She sobbed on the phone as she related her struggle.

After referring Cindy to one of the Food Bank’s outstanding partner food assistance programs, the staff person who had spoken to her realized she had been deeply touched by the conversation. After leaving work, this same staff person went home and gathered some food supplies that she wanted to personally and anonymously contribute to Cindy and Vivian. Read More …

October 13, 2016

Provision Pack Program Providing Much Needed Help for Low Income Families

Author: Guest Blogger

provision-packsThe Provision Pack Program was founded to provide nutritional assistance to low income families in the Ormond Beach area. The families in our program are living in poverty, and in some cases homeless situations. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2015, approximately 100,000 people (17.7%) of Volusia County lives in poverty.

These families are faced with the unfortunate decisions of having to choose between paying rent, a utility bill, and putting food on their table. No one should be faced with such difficult decisions.

This program started a couple of years ago when founder, Carrie Torres discovered the need for food for families in her children’s school in Ormond Beach. The teachers at the school told her about 12 families from the school who were homeless living in cars, campgrounds, hotels or on the floors of other families. These families depended on their children’s school to provide them 2 meals a day because they were without food and money for food. The program started by helping these 12 families with meals on the weekends and over summer vacation.

Because of their partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, Perines Local Produce, Oasis Church and Publix Super Markets, the Provision Pack Program were able to reduce the cost of the provision packs that they provide from $25- $30 to only $5 a bag. They are now not only able to provide nutritious food for families, they can also help the financial and emotional stress on the family who is not able to feed their children. Most importantly, these packs provide the blessing of nutrition, and bring comfort to the children of Ormond Beach so that the youth can focus on their academics and become healthy, successful young adults. Read More …

June 21, 2016

Food and Fenders

Author: Greg Higgerson

Second Harvest feeding partner Victory Temple of GodThe first thing one notices are the sounds of the vehicles. As I stood outside the scheduled food distribution at Victory Temple of God food pantry in Sanford, I could hear the clients’ cars coming up Sixth Street before I saw them. Extremely rough-sounding engines that threatened to quit any moment.

The metal-on-metal screech of brake pads that no longer existed.   The loud, tell-tale clicking of a bad CV joint. The rest were merely afflicted with more minor issues like fenders held on with wire, taped plastic over missing windows, or severely bald tires. All long-delayed repairs that routinely fall lower on the very low-income owners’ priority list than food, shelter, clothing, medicine, or gasoline. Read More …