June 29, 2017

How the Culinary Training Program Changed My Life

Author: Guest Blogger

Chef Shandra - former Culinary Training Student at Second Harvest Food BankWhen I started the Second Harvest Culinary Training Program, it changed my life.

Before this program, I was an assistant manager at a gas station, but even with that job, it was still a struggle for my husband and me to keep our heads above water. When I heard about this program from a friend, I hesitated to call, at first. When I finally did, though, I never could have imagined how much my life was about to change for the better.

In the beginning, it was a huge challenge for me. My hours were cut to part-time at work, and we were relying on my husband’s small income. I was worried I would have to quit and find more work so we wouldn’t get behind on bills. Read More …

June 8, 2017

Chicken vs. Chicken

Author: Maureen Mikel

Kids Cafe focus group“Mmmm this is the best cheese I’ve ever had!”

“Look, there’s chicken, and ham, AND cheese AND bread!!”

“Oh yeah, this gets a thumbs up!… no, a double thumbs up!!”

These were just some of the reactions I overheard during a Kids Cafe Focus Group I had the opportunity to attend last Wednesday, May 31st at Goldenrod Recreation Center.

Second Harvest Food Bank’s Kids Cafe is an after-school meal service program that provides food for needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties, providing quick access to meals at the end of the school day. Kids Cafe Focus Groups help the food bank’s chefs hone in on, not only the most nutritious food they can distribute to kids in our community, but what kids enjoy most as well. Read More …

August 3, 2015

Top 10 Ways to Experience Orlando’s Taste of the Nation

Author: Guest Blogger

Top 10 Ways to Experience Orlando's Taste of the NationOrlando’s Taste of the Nation is back again this year on August 8, 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott. To prepare for this amazing evening of signature dishes from Central Florida’s best chefs, and fine wines, craft beers, and specialty cocktails, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 ways to experience this year’s Taste event.

1.  Whet your taste buds: Prep your tummy for feasting with a light lunch beforehand.

2.  Consume more by wearing comfy shoes: With 43 restaurants and two dozen wine and spirit stations spanning a room larger than two football fields, this event is a test of decadent endurance.

3.  The key is wine: Don’t miss your shot at winning an instant wine cellar of 150 bottles of wine. If your key opens the wine door, you’re the winner! Read More …

April 7, 2015

Meet Chef Terah

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Meet Chef TerahAnother talented staff member has joined the Second Harvest team! Chef Terah joined the Nutrition team in February and she’s been busy cooking some great things up.

Read on to learn more about Chef Terah and the new opportunities she’s sharing with agencies.

Hi Chef Terah. What type of work are you doing with the nutrition program?

I’ve taken on the Nutrition Educator position and I’m so excited! I’m interested in working with agencies that would like to spread the message of healthy eating to their clients. One way to do this is by showing clients how to make healthy meals with pantry items.

When an agency is distributing food, I can set-up a station and show clients how to prepare food that is being distributed that day. For example, if potatoes are being distributed, I can show clients how to cook those potatoes in healthy ways. They can taste the potatoes I cook, and take the recipe to try at home themselves. Read More …

June 24, 2014

Escalades and enabling the hungry: My Word

Author: Dave Krepcho

Recently, I observed a charitable food distribution in Central Florida. A Cadillac Escalade (yes, the classic story you hear of the welfare queen) drove up to receive food. Admittedly, I went into stereotype mode, thinking, “Why is this lady taking food?” I felt immediate anger. This is exactly what many people are talking about.

A site volunteer went to the car window and the driver explained, “I brought Agnes, a member of my church, because I’ve driven by before and observed what you do. Agnes is elderly, her husband is disabled and they don’t have a car and need food.”

We can be in such a rush to judge others — we simply don’t take time to even consider what’s really happening. With today’s polarizing news debates, we’ve created a culture of alienation. It’s toxic.

It’s commonly debated — whether charitable food distribution is enabling people versus not judging those in need and providing them with food. It’s polarizing and shouldn’t happen. I encourage Central Floridians to consider the word “enabling” in a different way. For example, are we enabling senior citizens when we feed them and free up money to buy much-needed medication? Are we enabling children who are in circumstances beyond their control? Are we enabling full-time workers who can barely pay the rent? Are we enabling the unemployed from the recent economic downturn, folks who can’t find a job even close to what they had before?

Read More …

June 10, 2014

Second Harvest’s Summer Food Program Expands into Brevard County

Author: Santos Maldonado

Summer Food Service in Brevard CountyAfter six years of sponsoring summer feeding sites in Seminole, Orange and Osceola, Second Harvest Food Bank has expanded into neighboring Brevard County.

In the first week alone, almost 1,000 meals were served at four locations in Melbourne. The outcome of the pilot program, which runs from June 2nd through August 15th , will be used to evaluate the feasibility of further expansion. In addition to Second Harvest’s sites, Brevard County’s School District will serve food at 31 schools and community centers.

Second Harvest Food Bank has been a sponsor since 2007, providing meals to 73 different locations. By the end of summer, an estimated 90,000 Second Harvest meals will have found their way into the hands and tummies of children who lack access to school cafeterias in at-risk, low-income communities. Read More …