August 7, 2017

The Fresh Games: Playing With Your Food Is More Than A Mess

Author: Guest Blogger

Summer Feeding volunteersIn honor of National Fresh Fruits and Vegetables month in June, Second Harvest Food Bank hosted the 1st Annual Fresh Games for our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

With the help of 8, 12-year-old volunteers, we visited 9 summer food sites to play with our food. As a bonus to the planned activities, each site received fresh fruits and vegetables for the kids to sample. Over the course of the Fresh Games, nearly 316 kids (plus 8 volunteers) were exposed to healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Each activity brought a fun, new experience for the kids at each site and for the volunteers too! Our first activity: Fruit Bingo.

Each child was given a bingo card that had various fruits and vegetables on it. To make the game more hands-on, they were given grapes as markers for their board. If you won a bingo, you got to make your own smoothie out of the following ingredients: spinach, kale, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, blueberries, blackberries, and apples. 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 …

January 6, 2017

Over 2,000 families assisted at Annual Holiday Food Drop

Author: Stephen Currence

2016 OCPS Holiday DropOur mission at Second Harvest is to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network, while multiplying the generosity of a caring community. We work with our community to erase the food gap that exists in Central Florida between families that have a need but not consistent access to food. This gap would be far worse without our partnership with the Orange County Public School (OCPS) system.

Each weekday children whose families deal with financial struggles, and the resulting food insecurity issues, receive free or reduced breakfast and lunches. In some areas in Orange County the percentage of low-income children is so high that many schools have 90% or more of their students receiving free and reduced lunch.

Second Harvest Food Bank offers several programs through our Childhood Hunger Program — which offers hot meals and nonperishable foods afterschool and over the weekends to children with food insecurity is. About eight years ago, Orange County Public Schools contacted Second Harvest to help bridge the gap that is left during the two-week school is out for winter break. Read More …

December 21, 2016

Apples for Christmas

Author: Dave Krepcho

Christmas applesThis time of year, I am reminded of the story of Cindy, a young single mother of a vivacious, red-headed six year old named Vivian. Having left an abusive situation almost two years before, Cindy was doing the best she could with the small amount she earned from her hourly-wage job. As Christmas approached, she worried that she would not have the ability to put food on the table, and contacted Second Harvest to learn whether help might be available. She sobbed on the phone as she related her struggle.

After referring Cindy to one of the Food Bank’s outstanding partner food assistance programs, the staff person who had spoken to her realized she had been deeply touched by the conversation. After leaving work, this same staff person went home and gathered some food supplies that she wanted to personally and anonymously contribute to Cindy and Vivian. Read More …

July 19, 2016

Why do you volunteer?

Author: Guest Blogger

Lauren ZargariI am so thankful for the wonderful volunteers here at Second Harvest, and that I get the opportunity to hear about their hearts for the hungry. So many set aside time in effort to fight hunger, and that is what makes this community so great.

I met Lauren Zargari a few weeks ago and it was her first time at the food bank. She said, “I think its important to give back to the community and help anywhere you can. It was really eye opening when I got here because I was educated on what is going on in our community and how many people are actually in need.”

Lauren helped package meals for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).  She said she specifically picked that act of service because she wanted to help with feeding children.


Read More …

November 3, 2015

Feed the Need Kicks Off

Author: Maureen Mikel

Feed the Need 2015 Kick OffThe heat was on at the 2015 Feed the Need Kick-Off as representatives from the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce, Winter Park Fire Department, and Rollins College duked it out in a fierce can-stacking competition to see who could build the highest tower of cans – each representing the amount of food and funds raised for our neighbors in need during Winter Park’s Feed the Need Campaign.

Winter Park’s Feed the Need Campaign has raised over $100,000 each year since it’s start in 2013, and the Winter Park Community believes they can surpass that goal once again during the 2015 campaign. In addition to the exciting can-stacking competition, the community of Winter Park gathered at Winter Park City Hall Monday morning, November 2nd, 2015 for the official kick-off and to hear why exactly Winter Park chooses Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as their beneficiary for the Feed the Need campaign. Read More …