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 5, 2017

Health & Hunger in Central Florida: A Call to Action

Author: Kelly Quintero

On September 22nd, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida presented the Community Health Needs Assessment in partnership with Florida Hospital and Orlando Health. With more than 100 attendees that included community leaders, executives and elected officials, the report revealed that food insecurity, along with access to care, is key to improving a person’s health and well-being.

Hunger is now seen as a health issue, and food is the best medicine. As such, access to adequate nutrition is now a top priority for the major health systems in Central Florida. This new focus will have a profound impact on our community. 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 …

March 20, 2017

#MeatlessMonday Recipe: Reunion Salad

Author: Melissa Kear

This week’s National Nutritional Month #MeatlessMonday recipe is perfect for the first day of spring! One of our most popular recipes, this dish uses fresh vegetables, black-eyed peas, and a light sauce to make a refreshing, tasty salad that can be easily customized with other great flavors.

Check out the recipe below, or download your own printable copy here.

Second Harvest #MeatlessMonday Reunion Salad recipe

March 29, 2016

Savor the Flavor on a Budget

Author: Guest Blogger

Nutrition blog flavor on a budget

A strong misconception is that eating flavorful and nutritious food will break the bank. That doesn’t have to be true. Below you will find a few tips that can help you savor the flavor of nutritious food, while eating healthy on a budget.

1) Planning is a very important step in eating healthy on a budget. Start planning your meals for the week on a Sunday or Monday. Check local ads for weekly promotions like buy one get one free items. Also look for coupons for your favorite pantry staples. Consider using these items to create a plan or calendar of meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack(s).

2) Buy fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season or on sale. If you don’t eat them right away, freeze them. Fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables can be used in a variety of ways—the more you consume, the better! When selecting canned fruit, choose fruit that is canned in its own juice or light syrup. When choosing canned vegetables, choose vegetables that are canned with no added salt or low-sodium.

Read More …

March 11, 2016

Pediatric Interns Work with Food Bank to Narrow Nutritional Gap Among Food Insecure Kids

Author: Santos Maldonado

2016 Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital internsAt Second Harvest, we are keenly aware of the link between health and hunger, especially among children. As part of our ongoing effort to collaborate with community partners, pediatric interns from Orlando Health’s Arnold Palmer Hospital have been visiting one of our 19Kids Cafe” Children’s Afterschool Feeding locations for the last two years. The goal is to learn more about the communities where asset limited, low-income and resource poor families live. The twice monthly visits help interns glean valuable insight into the circumstances that may lead to health problems among the young.

Dr. Kristy Wesinghan, from Orlando Health, describes it this way: Read More …