April 13, 2017

An Inspirational Weekend of Changing Lives

Author: Guest Blogger

He Got Up! 2017On Sunday, April 9th, Second Harvest had the opportunity to participate at the 2nd Annual He Got Up! event, sponsored by the Orlando Serve Foundation, at Camping World Stadium. He Got Up! Was started to bring together already existing aid groups, into one location, and serve the homeless, families, and individuals in need.

Hosting a table at the Job Opportunities/Education area, so many, young and old, came by our table to hear about our Culinary and Distribution Training Programs, and receive some healthy snacks. We had some great conversations with individuals in need, but were also able to talk with vendors around us about our free training programs.

People didn’t realize that Second Harvest was involved in so many different ways to help our community! Read More …

December 7, 2016

A Call From Barbara

Author: Sasha Hausman

Last week we had the pleasure of spending the day at the WESH studios for Giving Tuesday. The generous folks at WESH decided to hold an all-day telethon to raise funds for Second Harvest Food Bank. I spent my day doing on camera interviews, answering phones and taking down donation information from generous neighbors and collecting the slips so we could keep track of the money coming in.

Around 1 pm, WESH reporter, Amanda Ober, answered the phone cheerfully “WESH 2 Share Your Christmas Telethon!” as she did about 20 times before. She then called over to me saying, “Sasha, this call is for you”. I was thinking it was a kind family member that wanted to make a donation and say some sweet things about seeing me on TV. Instead, I was surprised to meet Barbara.

Barbara quickly told me that I didn’t know her but she had been watching me on TV. She finally gained the courage to pick up the phone and make this call. She let me know that she is 80 years old and living alone in Winter Park. She just got over pneumonia and was feeling very weak. Bottom line…she was hungry, with nothing in her pantry and no car or family to get her to food. Read More …

November 22, 2016

Celebrating Our Students’ Success

Author: Idalia Nunez

November 2016 Culinary & Distribution Training GraduationWe live in a complicated world full of stress, lists, hectic days, with little time to delight in the beauty and people around us.  Last Friday, we were able to pause and celebrate our Culinary and Distribution Training Program students at their graduation. It was such a special day for not only the students but for their families and friends.

From our community partners to our business partners, Board members, and Second Harvest staff we all rejoiced together as we witnessed the beautiful smiling faces of each graduating student.  Students from class 17, 18 and 19 all came together once again to celebrate their accomplishment. Read More …

September 22, 2016

Second Harvest’s Partner Agency Council

Author: Erin Gray

agency-council-conference-erinA little over 3 years ago, Second Harvest Food Bank created a Partner Agency Council.

The purpose of the Council was to have a key group of partner agencies meet monthly, and be able to think strategically about things happening in the food bank and related to the other partner agencies.

Early on, we consulted our partner agencies for advice on the design of our new facility and got such good ideas that we wanted to expand it to all aspects of our operations!

We started with a group of 12 agencies that represented all 6 counties that we serve, and currently have over 20 partner agencies from all 6 counties. Our agency members vary considerably – they are large and small, paid staff and volunteers. They include food pantries, soup kitchens, residential programs, and school pantries. We seek a variety of agencies so that they can represent the network as a whole. Read More …

June 10, 2016

Central Florida Raises 218,281 Pounds of Food During Letter Carriers Food Drive

Author: Melissa Kear

2016 Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food DriveOn the second Saturday of every May, for the past 24 years letter carriers all across the nation have been picking up bags of canned and nonperishable goods set out at the mailboxes of compassionate, giving people . This year was no different, and the Central Florida community came together in a big way for the Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive!

Saturday, May 14th, Central Florida letter carriers went mailbox to mailbox to collect donations and bring their loaded trucks back to awaiting volunteers. Volunteers and letter carriers worked together to empty out trucks and sort through all kinds of donated product, so that it could be ready to go back to the food bank and distributed out into the community. Read More …

May 19, 2016

The Feel Good Factor

Author: Maria Shanley

2016 Swamp Sistas La La Summer HopeI’m an Orlando based musician and songwriter who has lived and toured throughout the Gulf Coast region my entire life. Swampy is my climate of choice, and when asked to describe my sound, I say “Swamp Roots” because it’s my own blend of the music I heard growing up, New Orleans rhythm & blues, soul, gospel, country, zydeco and rock and roll, with a percolating groove that exudes humidity and lush growth.

Five years ago I initiated a community of women friends called the Swamp Sistas, 2,545 at last count. We are a diverse group with varied occupations and backgrounds, but we all have two things in common. We love music and we love helping out. We’re passionate about both and combine them whenever we can. Read More …