October 17, 2017

A Focus on Healthy Pantries

Author: Guest Blogger

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has been working hard to contribute to the Central Florida community’s health and wellness. Because food insecurity is one of the leading factors contributing to chronic disease and illness among people who are low income and living in poverty, Second Harvest created the Healthy Pantry Network Coordinator position through a West Orange Healthcare District grant.  While the focus of the grant is on feeding partners within the footprint of the West Orange Health District, all of our agency partners are able and encouraged to contact me for information and guidance to improve the health status of their pantry.

Already St. Andrews Catholic Church has been working closely with me to implement as many health upgrades to their pantry as possible. They’ve been extremely receptive and interested in the nutrition information for their client’s food bags and we’ve been able to communicate about healthier foods for their homeless population too. In addition, they invited UF/IFAS Extension’s Family and Nutrition Program to come out to a food distribution event to provide nutrition education to their clients.

I look forward to being a resource for our partners on health and wellness initiatives.

– Rachel Stankiewitch

October 4, 2017

Emergency Food Box Delivery

Author: Erika Spence

Today Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida delivered emergency food boxes for families arriving from Puerto Rico to the Disaster Relief Center at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and to Latino Leadership. Working through DCF and our feeding partners, we are preparing to serve an influx of families arriving from Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

With Hurricanes Irma and Maria disaster relief in full force, the need will only continues. You can help feed kids, seniors and families by donating funds, food or volunteering. Find out how to help at www.feedhopenow.org/disaster.

Read More …

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 …