Here at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, we have many things to be thankful for. Thanks to your amazing support, our network of partnerships within the community, and exciting new programs at the food bank, fewer of our neighbors have to choose between putting food on their table or having enough to afford prescription medicines, paying rent, or utilities. Though it was difficult to choose, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 things we are thankful here this year.
5. Our Darden Foundation Community Kitchen.
While less than two years old, great things have already happened for our Community Kitchen team. We are always thankful to share that every graduate out of our Culinary Training Program has found employment upon graduation, and are so excited for our Catering for Good team for their new holiday menu that will provide outside catering for the first time. But mostly, we are thankful for every person who has either rented a room or used our catering services. These funds go straight back into our community kitchen, and provide more opportunity toward a better life for every student who comes through our culinary training program.
4. Partner Agencies.
Without our network of over 550 partner agencies, we at Second Harvest could not do what we do. Spread out between six counties, every single feeding partner is a key component in meeting the need for Central Floridians who seek food assistance an average of 71,000 different times a week. Thanks to each of you for being a partner agencies, and being the true hunger ambassadors for our neighbors in need!
Whether it is packing family boxes, sorting through food donations, bagging produce, cutting name tags, or helping at any of our events, volunteers provide a huge service to not only Second Harvest, but our community. Your time is precious, and we are both truly honored and thankful for every moment of it you donate to toward the mission of fighting hunger and feeding hope in Central Florida. This year, 8,083 volunteers contributed 71,290 hours – equivalent to more than 34 full-time staff members! We are truly thankful for our volunteers.
Whether it is food donations, monetary donations, or sponsoring one of our hunger fighting events, we are thankful for every donor! Because of amazing partnerships in the community, for every $1 donated, we are able to provide up to $9 in grocery value. That means, be it big or small, those donations allow us to collect more food and feed more people in our community. We are so thankful for the support of our donors!
Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed nearly 64 million pounds of grocery products – the equivalent of more than 53 million meals – to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes.
We truly could not do what we do without the support of the Central Florida community, and can never thank each and every one of you enough for your continued support. With a recent report from the United Way stating 45% of Floridians struggle financially, we need your help more than ever. There is a huge meal gap between Central Florida families and the available food out there, and your actions and support are helping us close that gap with each dollar your give, each pound of food you donate, and each hour you volunteer your time.
So what are we most thankful this year at Second Harvest? You! Thank you for all that you do.
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