Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida has received a $425,000 grant from Lockheed Martin that will be used to purchase food for distribution. This equates to more than eight tractor-trailers’ worth of food to families in need.
“I am proud to recognize Lockheed Martin for stepping up its efforts even further to support our community during this challenging time,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “This contribution to Second Harvest Food Bank’s hunger relief efforts will support its critical work to deliver millions of meals to Central Floridians in need.”
Food insecurity, measured by the number of “missing meals” in Central Florida households, has increased by 11% as a direct result of COVID-19 unemployment. To serve the growing demand, Second Harvest has doubled daily distribution from 150,000 to 300,000 meals per day since the end of March.
“During this time of crisis, many of our families are struggling to put food on the table and our non-profits are struggling to meet the increasing needs of our community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We are grateful for corporate partners like Lockheed Martin Corporation for helping us, as a community, meet these challenges our residents are facing and providing essential food for our families.”
“It can be hard to express the scale of hunger in our community, especially at a time like this – so we are especially grateful for Lockheed Martin’s generosity,” added Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “But it seems likely that what we see today is the ‘new normal.’ The economic tail of this crisis will far outlast the virus itself – and we must be prepared for that.”
Since 1990, Lockheed Martin has actively supported the food bank by donating, participating in volunteer events, training staff members and providing operational expertise.
“We’re honored to partner with organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank as they provide hunger relief to our community during these unprecedented times,” said Charlie Hubbs, vice president at Lockheed Martin in Orlando. “We truly believe in the food bank’s mission, which is even more critical now.”
In addition to distributing more meals, Second Harvest is expanding programs that deliver food to older adults at home, neighborhoods in “food deserts,” and children who no longer have access to school breakfasts and lunches.
However, demand continues to outpace long-term capacity. Forty-five of Second Harvest’s feeding partners have closed in response to the pandemic, while the remaining 496 are experiencing unusually high numbers of food requests.