Archive for the 'Brevard County' Category

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

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.

 

December 17, 2018

Every Day is a New Challenge

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

“When I had nowhere to go, you were there for me,” explains Amelia.

One day she came home after picking her kids up from school to discover her husband had abandoned their family. As a stay at home mom, she had no income to pay bills or rent. Within a month, she and her four children under 16 began living in their car.

Devastated, but determined not to let the situation define her, Amelia turned to a FAITH Neighborhood Center, a local food pantry in Second Harvest’s powerful network of 550 feeding partners, for help.  Over the next 10 months, Amelia relied on the consistent access to dry goods, produce and bread from the pantry while she secured stable housing and found a job.

“There was a time when I felt like I had nothing, but you were angels to me, through thick and thin,” said Amelia.

With a positive outlook, Amelia rises each day and looks forward to new challenges. She’s thankful for her job at a laundry service, the running water in her home and that her kids are happy, healthy and full when she tucks them into bed each night.

“We’ve been on a bumpy road this year, but the ride is getting smoother. Thank you,” said Amelia.

December 13, 2018

Marie Celebrates a Culinary Success for the Holidays

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

From the time she was young, Marie has wanted to own her own business. She knew education would be the key to her success, but it was always just out of reach. A single mother with a 16-month-old daughter, she was juggling work as a prep cook with the stress of a young child when a friend told her about the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

Marie entered the program to expand her culinary skills, learn different cuisines and gain a better understanding of essential life skills like communication, teamwork, budgeting and interviewing.

“Education is everything,” Marie explains, adding, “This program is helping me prepare for a career, not just a job.”

Marie’s dedication is already paying dividends. While completing the program, her employer at Orlando International Airport recognized her new skills and raised her hourly rate. Her goal is to work hard, keep learning and one day open a restaurant.

“In my heart, I’m celebrating,” Marie says. “I’m thankful for the program and the supporters that made it possible. They provided me with the training and the tools to be successful, everything, including the shoes.”

To learn more about Second Harvest’s 16-week Culinary Training program visit www.feedhopenow.org/culinarytraining.