January 14, 2019

Assistance during the Government Shut Down

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Dear Partner Agencies,

As I am sure you are aware, the government shutdown is entering its 3rd week. This shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government employees, TSA agents, park rangers, congressional staff etc. Many of these furloughed employees have been working without pay, which is a tremendous strain on them and their families. We are hearing of an increase in need for people in our community to put food on their table. Many of these folks have not faced this situation before.

Please be sensitive to the needs and feelings of these individuals. This may be their first visit to a food pantry and they may not feel comfortable. We suggest that you be flexible with any intake processes you have, especially regarding income since this is a population that may not normally qualify for assistance.

We are monitoring this situation closely and are very aware of the potential hardship that may occur as your agency attempts to feed those in need. We are currently sending any referrals that we receive at the food bank to our Food Finder on our website that will direct them to a pantry or feeding program near them. If this situation is not resolved soon, we will explore additional ways to support you and your agency to provide relief to these clients.

We have a special section on our website with information about this situation. You can check back for updates. The current info is pasted below.

If you are seeing an increase in clients, please notify us immediately so that we can stay on top of this situation and evaluate next steps in supporting you.

Thank you for all that you do for those in need.

Government Shutdown 2019

If you have been affected by the government shutdown please reach out to us for help.

  • Online: Visit our Food Finder tool online to find your local food pantries.  
  • Phone: Call our main number 407-295-1066 to receive a list of food pantries.
  • Visit our community resources page if you need other types of assistance. 

Who does this affect?

The shutdown affects all “non-essential” federal government employees. This means people like TSA agents, park rangers, Congressional staff, staff for whole departments, like USDA.

Because the shutdown has lasted nearly 3 weeks, many of these “furloughed” employees have been working without pay. There’s a lot of uncertainty about how these individuals will be able to pay rent, or how they’ll be able to put food on the table. Approximately 800,000 federal workers and federal contractors have been furloughed without pay for an indefinite period, and it is expected that paychecks for federal workers and contractors will not arrive as scheduled.

It will also affect the 710,000 Central Floridians who use SNAP to put food on their tables. SNAP, formerly known as food stamps, is funded by the federal government and faces a February deadline for funding.

Other programs such as WIC and Child Nutrition Programs will have funding through February too.

How we will help

Since SNAP (formaly called Food Stamps) has funding through February, we won’t see an immediate impact for this program, but we are already seeing an uptick in searches for feeding partners to find food. We’ve received a few questions from furloughed employees who need resources to assist them during the government shutdown.

We’ve estimated that if this shutdown continues for a few months, we’d have a roughly $500,000 shortfall due to government contracts such as Head Start, after school meals, and others. Once the shutdown ends, we’ll be reimbursed for our social entrepreneurship services.

This equals to approximately 1 million meals that will disappear from Central Florida.

We will not be cutting any services and we will always find a way to continue to support our feeding partners in Central Florida



January 4, 2019

Registration Deadline Extended! RSVP Today!

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

RSVP before February 11, 2019 to fdelgado@feedhopenow.org Limit two guests per agency.



December 21, 2018

Top Stories of 2018

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

#1 Volunteer Story

While Hurricane Michael did not directly impact Central Florida, you responded by volunteering to build relief boxes, organizing food drives and donating funds to support disaster relief efforts. Relive 2018’s disaster relief preparation and response. Throughout the year volunteers lent a helping hand to prepare meals, pack family boxes, sort donated food and assemble weekend backpacks for kids, among other activities. Thank you for donating over 120,000 hours of service to your neighbors in need.

#1 Food Distribution Story

 

A gallon of milk, a package of chicken or carton of eggs may seem like a small errand to pick up on your way home, but for families in need, these fresh foods can be a luxury. By helping our feeding partners acquire equipment such as freezers, refrigerators and shelving, they are able to efficiently store and distribute more healthy food to our neighbors in need. 52% of the food distributed through Second Harvest’s network of feeding partners is fresh, thanks to you.

#1 Culinary Training Program Story

Within a year of completing Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program, Soline received her first income tax return. She felt a tug at her heart. Instead of scheduling a spa day or splurging on a new TV, Soline donated $150 back to the program to help other students train for a new, sustainable career. Thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters like you and Soline, 71 new graduates are now working in the local food industry.

 

#1 Childhood Hunger Story

Regardless of the season or holiday, hunger never takes a break. Each summer, Second Harvest prepares and delivers healthy meals to kids to ensure they have continued access to the nutritious meals they need. Thanks to your support in 2018, meals were provided at 118 locations across 6 counties, including a milestone of one million meals since the program’s inception.

#1 Innovative Story

Three years ago, Second Harvest embarked on a culinary journey to create sustainability for the Culinary Training Program. That effort led to the launch of A Spoon Full of Hope, a signature food product line that includes soup, honey, cookies and healthy lunches. Each item purchased helps change the lives of culinary students.

For more stories of hope and courage in 2019, be sure to follow Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida on social media or sign up for one (or more) of our email newsletters.



December 20, 2018

Over 2,500 Families Served at Annual School Holiday Drop

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

With just a few days left until students head home for a 17-day holiday break, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Orange County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services partnered to help ease the burden for families at eight local schools during the ninth annual Holiday Food Drop.

One in six area residents are in economic situations that put them at

greater risk of being hungry, and with students at home for holiday break, they also leave behind their free and reduced-price school-provided meals, making the need even greater this time of year.

One mother arrived at Forsyth Woods Elementary in tears. “My husband was laid off this week. His whole office is closing down right before the holidays,” she explained as volunteers loaded the back seat with an assortment of produce, canned and dry items and a whole turkey. “This means the world to us right now. Thank you.”

 

Throughout the morning, there were continuous moments of happiness and relief as volunteers packed bags of hope for families in need into their cars. A total of 2,509 families were served, including 5,233 adults and 5,560 children.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to generous support from CarMax, Costco, Red Nose Day and First United Methodist Church, these families across Orange County went home with one less thing to worry about this holiday season.