September 28, 2017

Mobile Virtual Food Drive for Disaster Relief

Author: Erika Spence

In 2016 Second Harvest Food Bank upgraded its virtual food drive tool to be mobile responsive and that decision is paying dividends, most recently during Hurricane Irma.

The Ogle family in Avalon Park used the virtual food drive as a way to give back to their community following Hurricane Irma. The family counts themselves as one of the lucky few that did not endure a power outage in the wake of the storm. Siobhan notes that they lost Internet service, but that inconvenience was nothing like friends and neighbors who lost electricity, groceries and had damage to their homes.

When she and her husband, Will, heard the news of a two-day school closure after the storm, they realized parents would be at a loss for where to send their children. Will, a 5th grade teacher at Avalon Park Elementary, had the idea of running a two-day hurricane camp. He runs a similar camp in the summer, so condensing activities into two days was his way of doing his part to help after the storm. Instead of charging tuition, they would ask for donations to help the community recover.  Read More …

May 26, 2017

School Is Out and Kids Are Out of Time

Author: Guest Blogger

2017 Summer Hope for Kids Virtual Food Drive Chef John StoryLast summer, a co-worker and I were at the Holden Community Center for an event. The majority of people there were children ranging from elementary to high school. School was starting soon, and they were there with a parent to receive book bags and assorted items for the upcoming school year.

While we sat at our table, a teenaged boy, probably late middle school to high school age, passed by our table. The words that came out of his mouth were unforgettable.

“Thank you,” he said. I was taken off guard with his statement and downplayed my confusion to reply, “You’re very welcome, for…”

The teenaged boy smiled and explained that every day, the Second Harvest Meals for Good food trucks came by his neighborhood to feed him, and he really loved the food. He then thanked me again for what I did for kids like him.

Read More …

April 17, 2017

Why I Believe In Summer Hope for Kids

Author: Melissa Kear

Growing up as a kid who lived in a food insecure household, I wasn’t nearly as excited for summer as most of my classmates. Sure, school was out, which meant not having to wake up early to catch the bus, spend my days doing homework, or sitting in a classroom instead of being outside, but it also meant no more school meals. When you live in a working-poor family, who is struggling to make ends meet and has to constantly make tough decisions, having enough food in the fridge is a constant worry and stress.

My story is a small example of the one in four kids who struggle in Central Florida with hunger. As an adult, I understand the importance first hand of summer feeding programs, and my own experiences are a huge driving force in my daily work. Every year more feeding sites are popping up all over Central Florida, working to reach low-income areas and food deserts to make nutritious meals accessible for local kids. Read More …

July 21, 2016

My Virtual Food Drive Experience

Author: Melissa Kear

vfdOver the past four years, I have had the chance to meet and get to know some pretty great people through our Virtual Food Drive. For them, this tool is an easy and interactive way to raise money toward ending hunger in their community, provides a great representation of how far their monetary donations can really go, and fun to use.

At Second Harvest Food Bank, we are able to turn any $1 donation into $9 in grocery value. The food bank’s incredibly efficient distribution model gives every dollar donated exponentially more power over what you could buy in a store, giving even the smallest donation an impact on hunger. The virtual food drive shopping cart helps provide an illustrative representation of this. For example, a $7 donation has the potential to provide 288 tomatoes, or a $12 donation to provide 45 pounds of cheese!  Read More …