Like many of our neighbors in Central Florida, Carlos works in the hospitality industry. He and his wife have a budget and stick to it. Over the last two weeks, Carlos has had his hours reduced again and again as conventions pack up and head home. Without guests filling hotel beds, workers like Carlos have had their hours cut and, in some cases, been laid off as a result of the coronavirus. The uncertainty about the spread of COVID-19 is not only a health scare, it is an economic crisis for many families.
Hunger is a daily disaster for 1 in 7 Central Floridians. Now, more than ever, people like Carlos are experiencing that for the first time.
“I’ve never asked for help before. I didn’t know where to start,” he explained.
Carlos’s main concern was for his two school-aged daughters who rely on breakfast and lunch at their elementary school. With an extended spring break looming, rent due in just another week, and other bills starting to pile up, Carlos and his wife faced several tough choices. They learned first hand that the rent eats first and the grocery bill will just have to wait.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is here for families, like Carlos’s. While there as been a surge in searches for food assistance across the six-county service area, the food bank remains fully operational. And you can help. Here is a video update from the Orlando warehouse.
The most urgent need is financial donations. For every dollar donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, four meals can be distributed out into the community through a network of feeding partners. While traditional food drives are appreciated during most disaster times, citizens are asked to instead launch virtual food drives to rally support from their friends, family and co-workers. This helps protect the food stream and limit the number of times a food is touched before it is distributed.
The need for food is only going to increase. We will get through this together. Thank you for your caring and generosity.