Often times the first step to eliminating a crisis is a hot meal. It can be difficult to face challenges like unemployment, overdue rent, or medical issues when your daily needs are not being met. Due to the financial burdens and stressful challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, one in seven Central Floridians is at risk of facing hunger.
The Daily Bread program at The Christian Service Center for Central Florida helps ease the burden of hunger with a free lunch every day. As one of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s 550 feeding partners, the program serves up to 250 hot lunches seven days a week in downtown Orlando.
“Folks know they can come here consistently and they are going to receive a nutritious meal,” explains Carla Cox, director of program and mission at The Christian Service Center. “That means the weight of the world isn’t so heavy that day because your belly is full.”
Food donations from Second Harvest’s Retail Rescue program and grocers like Walmart become ingredients for complete meals. Frozen meats like chicken and beef become the entrée. Fresh produce is transformed into salads and side dishes. Bakery items become garlic bread and sweet treats that give the meal a homemade feel.
Recently, two men started eating at Daily Bread every day, explains Carla. They were cousins and living on the streets in Orlando together. After about two weeks, they met a case manager at lunch who connected them with the hope and resources they needed to secure housing and employment.
“Today they have achieved self-sufficiency,” says Carla. “And it all started with a meal.”
You can provide meals and hope to our neighbors.
$1 can provide 40 meals.