March 9, 2015

5 Ways to Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

5 Ways to bite into a healthy lifestyleDid you know that March 11th is  Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists Day? Don’t forget to wish them a “Happy RDN Day!”

March kicks off National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.” Here are 5 ways you can do just that. Read More …

November 19, 2014

A Three Pound Pickle?!

Author: Dave Krepcho

Volusia County warehouse cucumbersCan you imagine having a corn beef on rye sandwich or your favorite burger served with a three pound pickle? There are many stories of why we receive certain food donations. The typical ones may be that an item is close to its expiration date or there is a packaging mistake, etc. However, we thought we would share the story behind the giant cucumber.

A local farm was harvesting cucumbers and having to dump tons of them. We asked why? The farmer has a contract with a major pickle brand and some of the cucumbers didn’t meet the manufacturer’s specifications. They were either too big, too small or oddly shaped.

As a result, there was no market for them and they needed to be dumped…until we stepped up and offered to “rescue” them and find them welcoming homes in Central Florida. We have been able to collect millions of pounds of fresh produce over the past year; food that would have gone to waste. Read More …

May 27, 2014

Nutrition Guidance For Our Partner Agencies

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Partner AgencyOver the last few months, our nutrition intern Tyler Blankenship has been busily working with our partner agencies. As a chef and current culinary nutrition student from Johnson & Wales University, Tyler has been able to combine his culinary experience and nutrition knowledge to assist agencies where they need it most.

What follows is a Q&A with Tyler.

Q. How did you work with our partners?

A. I worked with the Nutrition Manager as well as Agency Relations and Childhood Hunger Programs to identify partner agencies that needed personal attention.

I was able to take a hands-on approach with a Kids Cafe site by assisting them with menu planning. I also developed a survey for children at the site that resulted in valuable feedback—over 50 children completed it and were able to tell us what foods they’d prefer on the menus.

They were asked to identify their favorite fruits and vegetables; we then tailored a rotating menu around their preferences. Not only does this help the site select the right products to serve, but also engages the students; hopefully encouraging them to eat more servings of fruits and vegetables than they do now. Read More …

March 11, 2014

Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right

Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

Little boy with peppersMarch is National Nutrition Month®. This year’s theme is Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right. The foods people enjoy are likely the ones they eat the most. Create healthy meals by combining taste and nutrition.

Every Wednesday we do just that with our Bites, Camera, Action! program. Universal Orlando chefs perform cooking demonstrations for middle-schoolers at four Orange County schools. In addition to a cooking demonstration, students participate in a nutrition education game, and receive a bag of food to take home to their families.

Last week, children were able to watch Chef Ed Colleran and Mayor Buddy Dyer make Turkey Veggie Mac & Cheese. Yum!

Read More …

January 10, 2014

Gluten-Free Ginger-Molasses Cookies

Author: Dawn Viola

Ginger Molasses CookiesOne of the programs that fall under our Community Kitchen umbrella is our in-house catering and events. We rent event space throughout Second Harvest and provide guests with an eclectic menu with a farm-to-table approach to cooking. The revenue generated goes directly back into our culinary training program, providing qualified, at-risk adults with an opportunity to attend our 14-week program without financial obligation.

We cook absolutely everything from scratch, right down to the breads, bagels, mustard and pickles, so when we started receiving requests for gluten-free baked goods, we knew a store-bought gluten-free flour just wouldn’t do. Read More …

October 22, 2013


Author: Maria Conley, RD, LD/N

MiPlatoBy: Christy Merritt, Dietetic Intern

National Hispanic Heritage Month just came to an end. September 15th – October 15th is the annual time dedicated to recognizing the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States.

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, the USDA launched new resources for Spanish-speaking audiences at . This website can be viewed in Spanish by clicking En Español under “For Consumers.”

MiPlato, the Spanish version of MyPlate, was developed two years ago. As a celebration of its 2-year anniversary, new recipes, tip sheets and activity sheets for adults and children have been added.

There are so many healthy, delicious, budget-friendly Latino recipes to try. Spread the word about this great resource.

How can you use the resources MiPlato offers with your family, agency clients or out in the community?