September 28, 2017

Mobile Virtual Food Drive for Disaster Relief

Author: Erika Spence

In 2016 Second Harvest Food Bank upgraded its virtual food drive tool to be mobile responsive and that decision is paying dividends, most recently during Hurricane Irma.

The Ogle family in Avalon Park used the virtual food drive as a way to give back to their community following Hurricane Irma. The family counts themselves as one of the lucky few that did not endure a power outage in the wake of the storm. Siobhan notes that they lost Internet service, but that inconvenience was nothing like friends and neighbors who lost electricity, groceries and had damage to their homes.

When she and her husband, Will, heard the news of a two-day school closure after the storm, they realized parents would be at a loss for where to send their children. Will, a 5th grade teacher at Avalon Park Elementary, had the idea of running a two-day hurricane camp. He runs a similar camp in the summer, so condensing activities into two days was his way of doing his part to help after the storm. Instead of charging tuition, they would ask for donations to help the community recover.  Read More …

July 17, 2017

Local Youth Awarded André Reyna Youth Against Hunger Award

Author: Melissa Kear

Lauren Bautista and Odalys ReynaEvery day, local youth are finding ways to give a voice to those less fortunate. Some volunteer, some advocate, some donate, and some are continuing to find unique ways to solve the problems local kids, families, and seniors in need face.

André Reyna was a very special young man who encompassed this. As a student at UCF and frequent volunteer for Second Harvest Food Bank and other local causes, André cared very deeply about helping those less fortunate, and about making sure that people had the basics of life available no matter their financial resources. Read More …

June 27, 2017

How Lockheed Martin Inspired Their Peers to Fight Hunger This Summer

Author: Melissa Kear

Lockheed Martin Volunteers at Second Harvest Food BankSince 2014, as the school year comes towards an end, members of different local Lockheed Martin divisions have been coming together to fight hunger for kids and their families over the summer months by starting a virtual food drive.

As part of their corporate-wide, annual food drive event, Mission: Engage, Nourish, Unite (M.E.N.U.), Lockheed Martin employees all across the nation compete to fundraise for causes close to their hearts. For the past few years, the food bank has been very fortunate to be a local beneficiary to these efforts from two different Lockheed locations!

Each year, Lockheed’s Sandlake Mission and Fire Control (MFC) location splits into teams by department and competes against each other, while Lockheed’s Lake Underhill location rallies together to raise more money. Over the past few years of getting to know so many participants in both locations, it’s been fun and enlightening to watch the competition on a regional and local level, but one thing is for sure: together they have made a huge impact for local kids and their families.

Read More …

May 18, 2017

Swamp Sistas La La at Orlando Fringe This Weekend

Author: Melissa Kear

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April 17, 2017

Why I Believe In Summer Hope for Kids

Author: Melissa Kear

Growing up as a kid who lived in a food insecure household, I wasn’t nearly as excited for summer as most of my classmates. Sure, school was out, which meant not having to wake up early to catch the bus, spend my days doing homework, or sitting in a classroom instead of being outside, but it also meant no more school meals. When you live in a working-poor family, who is struggling to make ends meet and has to constantly make tough decisions, having enough food in the fridge is a constant worry and stress.

My story is a small example of the one in four kids who struggle in Central Florida with hunger. As an adult, I understand the importance first hand of summer feeding programs, and my own experiences are a huge driving force in my daily work. Every year more feeding sites are popping up all over Central Florida, working to reach low-income areas and food deserts to make nutritious meals accessible for local kids. Read More …

February 7, 2017

Start a virtual food drive and help families in Central Florida

Author: Maria Shanley

Are you looking to give back this year in a unique way? Second Harvest’s virtual food drive tool is a great way to get you or your group involved with ending hunger in Central Florida in an easy, immediate and highly effective way. Did I mention that it’s also really fun?

Whether it’s for your birthday, your wedding, a sports event or graduation, you can use our virtual food drive tool to raise awareness and help fight hunger in our community.

Below are some benefits of running a virtual food drive:

– Easy to use and manage.
– It’s the greenest and easiest of all food drives.
– Allows for group participation. Competition-style drives can encourage greater participation. Read More …