April 22, 2014

Cooking up Hope with Evans High Students

Author: Melissa Kear

Evans High 9-week culinary training program at Second HarvestSince the beginning of April, students from Evans Community School have been chopping, slicing and sautéing in an after-school, 9-week culinary training pilot program in the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen. This pilot program came about when Evans approached Second Harvest about teaching nutrition and cooking to their students. With the collaboration of Second Harvest staff, Evans High principal, Jenny Gibson-Linkh, and head of the Community School, Amy Ellis, a model was soon put together and presented to 100 Women Strong for funding.

Thanks to 100 Women Strong’s support, and after a rigorous application process, 13 students now find themselves in our 2,000 square foot community kitchen learning about nutrition, kitchen techniques, cooking under the talented direction of our community kitchen chefs. Every Tuesday, Senior’s First provides transportation to our facility, where they learn about good nutrition, prepare a healthy meal, eat, and then take four additional servings home to their families. Read More …

September 17, 2013

Choose MyPlate Today

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

By: Christy Merritt, Dietetic Intern

MyPlateIt’s Hunger Action Month! The theme for this year is “Together We Can Solve Hunger.” A large part of this is providing nutritious food to people in need.

Distributing nutritious food into our community provides those who are hungry with essential nutrients that help the body maintain and repair itself, as well as prevent illness. For instance, if we compare a handful of chips to a handful of strawberries, we see the strawberries contain much more of what the body needs and much less of what the body does not need. The strawberries are loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants, with no added salt, no saturated fat or cholesterol, at only a fraction of the calories the chips provide.

An excellent tool that can be used as a guide towards healthy eating is the USDA’s MyPlate. MyPlate encourages Americans to eat balanced portions of food from all food groups.

Keep in mind, there are healthier options within each food group. Read More …

May 29, 2012

Empowered to Make Healthy Choices

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Over the last 6 weeks, high-schoolers at one of our new Kids Café sites—the Eatonville Boys & Girls Club—have dove into nutrition! A special thanks to Winter Park Health Foundation for their generous support and funding.

These were a great group of teens, and I really enjoyed working with them. They were always full of energy, ideas, and opinions. Each session started with a snack, and then went into a lesson and activity. Topics included what to pick at a fast food restaurant, making nutritious drink choices, reading food labels, understanding portion size, the importance of exercise, and goal-setting. Read More …

May 24, 2012

Florida’s Secretary of Agriculture Adam Putnam Visits Orlando to Raise Awareness of Summer Food Program

Author: Santos Maldonado

Florida’s Secretary of Agriculture Adam Putnam addressed a gathering of community leaders and partners this week at Nap Ford Charter School in downtown Orlando.

The Orlando Magic’s Bo Outlaw, Nick Anderson and “Stuff”, the Magic’s mascot, were all on hand to spread the word about the Summer Food Program.  Florida Impact, Share our Strength, Winter Park Health Foundation, United Way and many other community based organizations were also represented.

The Department of Agriculture oversees the Summer Food Service Program which helps provide meals to children when school is not in session. Over one and a half million children statewide rely on free or reduced priced school lunches. During the summer months these children are unable to access school cafeterias. Read More …

February 1, 2012

Eatonville Boys & Girls Club’s Kids Café

Author: Santos Maldonado

Eatonville Boys & Girls Club’s Kids Cafe welcomed over 120 youngsters with a hot afterschool meal on its opening day. The club sits in the heart of historic Eatonville; the nation’s oldest established African-American township. It is a stone’s throw from Hungerford Elementary and draws more than 200 students from nearby elementary, middle, and high schools.

Joyce Davis, who prepared  the meals, tell us that before Kids Cafe, children would receive small snacks consisting of bagels or cheese perhaps two or three times weekly, without regularity.

Second Harvest Food Bank, with the support of the Winter Park Health Foundation, has made it possible for these children to rely on a wholesome meal each and every day while school is in session. During the summer, Second Harvest will sponsor the club so that it may participate in the Summer Food Service Program which helps bridge the nutritional gap when children lack access to school cafeterias. Read More …

September 13, 2011

AARP Day of Service at Second Harvest Food Bank

Author: Maria Diestro

Let’s hear it for AARP! This year, they have made a major commitment to hunger among older Americans. Our CEO, Dave Krepcho, wrote about it in his “Hunger and the Daytona 500?” blog post in February.

Well this year, AARP designated Friday, September 9 as it’s Day of Service where the main focus was also hunger. On this day staff and volunteers nationwide went out to serve in their local communities.

How is this related to Second Harvest? Well, on Friday, September 9 we had 60 Winter Park AARP volunteers at our sorting facility putting together senior packs. Basically, they took over the food bank on that day and put together 5,452 senior food packs. Pretty amazing, right? Read More …