Tag Archives: Second Harvest

Invest Locally, Central Florida

With 2010 quickly wrapping up, I find myself counting my blessings.  I still have a job, my family is safe and healthy, I have a coat and boots for when it is cold, and although I don’t cook, I have food on the table for every meal.  This is far more than many Central Floridians can say this year.

I think back over the news of the economy this year, and reflect on the number of workers who have been laid off here…NASA, Sea World, fellow teachers and public relation specialists are some of the companies and titles that come to mind of friends that have lost their jobs. My thoughts are with them!

This time two years ago, my family was grieving the passing of my brother, who left behind three young children. I know the pain of losing a family member and realize time does not make it better, only more bearable.  He is one of the main reasons the Top 5 supports the American Lung Association – Central Region.  Along with my brother’s passing, my niece who has special needs has caused me to also support the Special Olympics of Florida. Both are worthy organizations that reach out to others. My thoughts are with anyone who is suffering or trying best they can to make their way.

I often see pleas from the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida for winter coats, blankets, etc., asking for people to donate these items.  Last winter my son used his money to buy blankets to donate; perhaps he will be moved to do it again this year. Those in need never end, and my thoughts are with them, especially during this unusually cold winter!

And beyond the physical comforts, food banks like Second Harvest are always providing a necessary service, so my thoughts are with those who are not only donating food, time, and money, but also those who find it necessary to rely on the food bank for their daily bread.

Thinking along these lines, I asked my Twitter followers which local organization they supported, and I was pleased with the large response:

Nathaniel’s Hope

Mercy Drive Ministries

Hadassah

Susan G. Komen of Central Florida

Children’s Home Society

Harbor House

Pet Rescue by Judy

The Russell Home

New Hope for Kids

Give Kids the World

Orlando’s local humane societies

Relay for Life (all around the Central Florida area)

Valencia Giving

B.A.S.E. Camp

Salvation Army

Girls on the Run

BETA Center

Orlando Union Rescue Mission

I certainly hope you will take the time to click each link to see what each organization is about. And, if you know of a worthy organization that is not listed here, please add it in the comments.

The wonderful thing about living in Central Florida is the people themselves; let’s invest in each other… because together we can overcome anything!

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Filed under Charity, family, General Info, Non-profit, Orlando

Portraits of Hunger: Timely Reminder for the Upcoming Season

More than 100 people participated in the 4th annual Portraits of Hunger photography competition, which took a frank, fresh, and often endearing look at the faces of Central Florida’s hungry.

The winners were announced in at a Showcase Party at the Enzian Theater with top honors going to Cynthia B. Slaughter for her winning photo titled “First Fruit.”

"Fruit First"

Sponsored by the Second Harvest Food Bank, the judges included Dave Krepcho, President of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Henry Maldonado, President of Enzian Theater, and Josh Garrick, Fine Art and Culture Writer for a series of news and on-line venues.

Winner Cynthia B. Slaughter and the judges

While the photo competition has ended, the hunger many Central Floridians face has not. Perhaps as you go into the upcoming holiday season you might keep such unfortunates in mind… it is often just the wrong circumstances or bad luck that can mean whether or not a child has a meal to eat one day or the next. You can make a difference!

Showcase attendees Kelly Carline, Lauren Moskowitz, Mindy Moulton, JoJo Dey, Michael Dey, Dac Ung

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Filed under Charity, Non-profit, Orlando, Resident done good

CANstruction is just so cool!

The Top 5 posted earlier about the exciting CANstruction going on at the Central Florida Zoo. Well, the leap was made to the Fashion Square Mall where “canstructionists” were hard at work creating masterpieces of art! (Well, canned art that is.)

Be sure to vote on your favorite Canstructure and be entered to win a gift pack from the Central Florida Zoo!

All food will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank and brings awareness to the problem of hunger right here in Central Florida. Below are pictures featuring designs by Burke Hogue Mills, Inc.RLF and A&CHunton Brady Architects and M.J. Harris, Inc., as well as the Canstruction Committee.

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Filed under Charity, Non-profit

Five Guys is Feeding Families!

Love it!  When Five Guys Burgers & Fries opened their newest Central Florida store in downtown Orlando, they did it right by feeding 100 needy families  in the process.  By recruiting the Second Harvest Food Bank into the process, almost 500 needy people were served and nearly 400 pounds of canned food were collected.

Five Guys first became involved with the food bank last year when they began donating 10% of all restaurant sales on the first Monday evening of every month to Second Harvest. Since May 2009, Five Guys has donated more than $20,000 to the non-profit.

Now that’s a figure we can all dig in and enjoy!

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Chase Helps the Hungry

Corporation Doing Good!
On July 22 it was announced that banking giant Chase will donate two state-of-the-art refrigerated delivery trucks to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to supply access to fruits, vegetables and other fresh foods. Chase also donated funds to operate each of these trucks for the first year…nice!

The trucks will be used to collect and distribute food to over 50,000 people in need throughout Second Harvest’s six-county service area: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.

“Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 26 million pounds of product and we won’t slow down next year. We can’t,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest.  “Extra vehicles in our fleet will boost our efforts significantly and help us reach more of our neighbors in need. We are deeply grateful to Chase for this generous donation.”

Chase announced its donation in Central Florida as part of a $5 million national grant to Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks. This donation marks the largest single corporate donation that Feeding America has received from a corporation to date. Second Harvest is a member of the Feeding America network.

Food Facts
In Central Florida alone, more than 731,900 people 47 percent of which are of children – receive emergency food each year in the Second Harvest’s service area. Since 2006, soup kitchens and shelters have seen a 100 to 400 percent increase in need for 50 or more additional meals per week

The food bank will distribute large volumes of nutritional product to local food pantries, soup kitchens or other agencies, which serve more than 55,000 Central Floridians each week.

The Top 5 had no idea the numbers of Floridians served each and every week by the local food services…perhaps you might consider volunteering or making a donation to such a cause next time you plan on doing something charitable?

55,000 a week… wow!

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“American Idol” Star Visits Orlando for a Hunger-Free Summer

Last week, American Idol star Katharine McPhee visited Orlando in hopes of bringing a focus on hungry children. She has partnered with the ConAgra Foods Foundation. Many local children depend on schools to provide perhaps their only consistent daily meals, and so when school is out, that means their next meal becomes a question mark.

During the school year, 19.5 million children receive free and reduced-price meals at school. But during the summer months, only 2.2 million children participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, coordinated by many Feeding America food banks across the country. That leaves millions of children at risk of hunger during the summer when school is out. The Hunger-Free Summer initiative aims to close that gap through a $5 million donation from the ConAgra Foods Foundation to Feeding America. The goal of the Hunger-Free Summer initiative is to provide at least 25 percent more meals for children in need over the next five years, and will account for a significant portion of ConAgra Foods Foundation’s goal of delivering one million meals to children in need this summer.

McPhee was in Orlando to launch Hunger-Free Summer on Wednesday, July 7, with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando at the New Image Youth Center. While there, Katharine volunteered her time, raising awareness for the cause, and singing with the children served by the center.

“This summer, I am going to be traveling across the country to Feeding America food banks from Orlando to Los Angeles – to volunteer my time and, more importantly, to raise awareness about this important issue,” said McPhee. “I want to challenge every community to come together to help end child hunger in the United States.”

Let’s hope her work brings attention to the problem of hunger here and across the nation!

In this photo provided by ConAgra Foods Foundation, entertainer Katharine McPhee sings with children at the New Image Youth Center.

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