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 …

September 26, 2017

I Love a Good Challenge

Author: Erika Spence

I love a good challenge. As the new Mission Storyteller for Second Harvest Food Bank my role is to capture the work that is being done to end hunger in Central Florida and share those stories with you. That may sound simple enough, but there are so many moving parts to the food bank that it is a big job. Photos. Videos. Interviews. Blog entries. Facebook Live. Oh, and distilling reports down to just 140 characters… at least photos don’t count against me anymore – thanks, Twitter! Let’s just say I’m up to the task.

I decided one of the best ways to learn about all the facets of the food bank was to take on as many of the Hunger Action Month activities as possible. I attended a Food for Thought Tour, dined out for Taqueria Tuesday and liked, followed and tweeted about hunger. Then, I decided to take the SNAP Challenge. This decision required a little more effort. Since no man is an island, I had to convince my family to come along on this one. Read More …

September 4, 2017

My First Month As a Food Banker

Author: Kelly Quintero

As I close out my second month at Second Harvest Food Bank, I want to give you a little insight into who I am and what the first month of being a food banker has taught me.

When I interviewed with Dave Krepcho for the position of Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, he asked me what hunger meant to me.  I don’t think he was expecting my response. For me, hunger is personal. Read More …

June 12, 2017

Commentary: Budget cuts: Half-baked funding won’t feed the hungry

Author: Dave Krepcho

Little boy with foodLast week, as I read about the president’s 2018 budget proposal — which calls for cuts of $193 billion nationally over 10 years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps) — I couldn’t help but feel sadness over how hunger relief has become such a polarized topic, one marked by half-truths and misconceptions.

Regardless of political leanings, if we can just look at what’s actually happening on the ground in communities across America, we’ll see that calls to drastically reduce federal aid are coming at a very bad time.

As reported by Feeding America’s recently released “Map the Meal Gap” study, food insecurity and poverty remain higher than before the Great Recession. Even though the economy has been improving, millions of Americans facing hunger are finding it increasingly difficult to afford enough food and groceries to feed themselves and their families. Read More …

January 26, 2016

Seniors Struggle to Find Nutritious Food

Author: Santos Maldonado

Senior food insecurityHere in Central Florida, and throughout the nation, millions of seniors find it challenging to consistently finenutritious food.

Although our nation produces a rich cornucopia of food and agricultural products valued at an estimated $400 billion annually, 30% to 40% of that food supply, an estimated $162 million, is discarded while millions of American seniors wonder where their next healthy meal will come from.

Nationally, the “food insecure” population among those 50 years of age or over has doubled since 2001 to roughly 10 million.

Florida is ranked 8th in agricultural exports and 12th in number of farms and beef cows, but paradoxically, over 700,000 or 1 in 7 seniors in our state must choose between healthy food and rent or medication.

Moreover, as baby boomers age, the number of food insecure seniors is expected to increase by 50%, further exacerbating an already serious problem. Read More …

July 10, 2015

Story of Hope and Courage: Meet Chelle

Author: Melissa Kear

Story of Hope and Courage - Meet ChelleFor years Chelle stocked a miniature food shelf in her garage. She and her husband ran a daycare for low-income families. About three times a week someone would ask them for help. She led them to her garage and said take whatever you need. They had more than enough.

Then the economy crashed. Their daycare attendance dropped from 12 kids to 5, and their income from $4000 a month to less than $1000. In a matter of months, they were destitute.

One day Chelle opened up the fridge and it was empty. She really didn’t want to apply for food stamps, but she couldn’t let her little girl go hungry – even if it meant swallowing her pride. Chelle and her husband are hard workers, working usually 60 hours a week each just to barely keep their heads above water, but it still wasn’t enough. They needed help. “It is hard, but I am grateful to have food stamps. It’s nice to know my daughter is taken care even when we can’t fully provide for her on our own,” Chelle says.

Chelle continues to say that education is the only way she can think of to pull her family up out of poverty. Right now she am enrolled in graduate school full time – on top of operating the daycare. It’s her dream that when she graduates, Chelle and her family can be self-sufficient again. Not only that, but that they can give back again as well. Read More …