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 …

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 …

September 22, 2016

Partner Spotlight: Christian Care Benevolence Center

Author: Lauren Moskowitz

christian-care-benevolence-centerThe Christian Care Center’s Benevolence Centeris the largest food pantry in Lake County serving an average of over 2150 individuals each month, giving over 22,000 pounds of food each week to those in need in Lake County. This program is designed to supply families with five days’ worth of food and eight articles of clothing per family member each month along with other household items free of charge.

The Benevolence Ministry began as a clothes closet at First Baptist Church of Leesburg in the early 1980’s. People would donate clothes to the less fortunate and others would volunteer to pass them out. When the old Rescue Mission started receiving food donations, they moved the clothes closet to the Rescue Mission and began providing food aid along with clothing.  In 1991, the ministry moved to its present location on 13th street which once was a historic train depot.

In 2003 the Center entered into an alliance with Second Harvest Food Bank as a partner agency allowing for substantial growth in the number of families and people served. Besides the individuals served each month, the Benevolence Center serves the Christian Care Center’s residential facilities with over 90,000 meals each year as well as Lake County residents in need, and supports community partners who serve veterans, the elderly, children and at-risk individuals. Read More …

June 8, 2016

This is Hailee, Signing Off!

Author: Hailee Mertz

HaileeOver the past few years, it has been a true pleasure getting to know each and everyone I’ve met at our partner agencies since I began at the Food Bank in 2012. I am grateful for the friendships I’ve formed, the lessons I’ve learned, and the hope I now have for the future of our community.

YOU ALL are change makersvolunteer change makers. The amount of hard work our Partner Agencies put into their programs and services blows me away. Central Florida is full of heroes. I am proud to have been a part of such a wonderful network of good people who care so much about their neighbors in need. Read More …

October 22, 2015

Partner Spotlight: Bridges of America

Author: Erin Gray

Second Harvest Food Bank partner agency spotlight on Bridges of AmericaSince its inception in 1980, Bridges of America(BOA) has maintained an unwavering commitment to provide thousands of felony offenders the opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration into their communities as law-abiding and tax-paying citizens nationally and internationally. BOA embraces positive change– change that allows their clients to feel proud of themselves and puts them in a position to be productive citizens within the community.

BOA is the largest, oldest and most successful private provider of re-entry programming in the state of Florida, providing a continuum of care in Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Programs, Transition Centers, Community Release Centers, and Community Re-Entry Services Transitional Housing for offenders, ex-felons and probation populations. Last year alone, BOA received nearly 450,000 pounds of food from Second Harvest Food Bank, and served nearly 375,000 meals. Read More …

October 5, 2015

Recycle, Reuse, Replenish.

Author: Kirsten Langan

Walmart Granted Cargo ContainersWe are so excited to share a milestone moment in not only our Grocery Alliance Program, but also for our food bank’s agency capacity building initiative.  Recently, the first refurbished cargo container was delivered to our partner agency, Servant’s Heart. But not just any cargo container! This container is fully insulated and refrigerated, and will allow our feeding partners to distribute more fresh produce and perishable foods to our neighbors in need.

The cargo container was purchased and granted with a $50,000 Walmart Retail Infrastructure Grant, recently awarded to the food bank.  The Walmart Grant is facilitating a key component of our Grocery Alliance Strategic Growth plan and adding two retailers to the program. Read More …