Archive for the 'Childhood Hunger' Category

December 6, 2019

Happy Holidays!

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

     This Thanksgiving season cozy up to the sweet comfort of winter squash. This family of nutrient packed vegetables include pumpkin, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and butternut squash. These fall favorites provide numerous health benefits that may help reduce various types of illness such as heart and respiratory disease, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis. Benefits are also found in the red, orange, and yellow pigment of the skin where high levels of alpha- carotene and beta- carotene convert to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision health and can help boost immune function. Winter squash is also packed with fiber which can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

The best part is that most winter squash varieties are naturally sweet which makes it a great food for kids to try. You can bake, broil, or steam the vegetable to vary its texture. The healthiest way to prepare winter squash is to peel the vegetable, remove the seeds, cut the squash into cubes, and then steam them for about seven minutes. If you don’t want to peel the vegetable, you can cut it in half and poke the meat of the vegetable with a fork. Then throw it in the oven and bake until tender. For a power packed holiday treat, try roasting butternut squash with a sprinkle of brown sugar and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Avey, Tori. “Maple Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash – Vegan Recipe.” Tori Avey, 18 Nov. 2019, https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/maple-cinnamon-roasted-butternut-squash/.

Collins, Karen. “The Best Winter Foods for Kids.” EatRight, 13 Dec. 2018, https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/cooking-tips-and-trends/best-winter-foods-for-kids.

“Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin A.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#h7.

Swartzendruber, Kris. “Enjoy the Taste and Health Benefits of Winter Squash.” MSU Extension, Michigan State University Extension, 2 Oct. 2018, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/enjoy_the_taste_and_health_benefits_of_winter_squash.

July 22, 2019

Summer is Off to a Hot Start with Hot Meals for Kids

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Second Harvest’s 12th annual Summer Food Program completed its first month of service on June 28th.

Throughout the month of June, Second Harvest’s fleet of trailers delivered over 102,610 breakfasts, hot lunches, and snacks to 98 participating locations in six counties, including YMCA’s, Parks and Recreation Centers, summer camps, libraries and churches.

Read More … March 21, 2019

Seminole State College Establishes Raiders Helping Raiders Pantry To Help Students In Need

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

The lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food and hygiene items is common at colleges and universities across the country. A 2016 study by the National Conference of State Legislatures, found that 48 percent of U.S. college students reported facing food insecurities. When students are forced to pick between food or their education, the study found that both their health and academic performance suffered. 

To provide assistance to students in need, Seminole State College has established the Raiders Helping Raiders Pantry. Through the College’s Destination Graduation, a partnership with the Heart of Florida United Way, and its new affiliation as an official Second Harvest Food Bank Partner Agency, the pantry will provide students in need with both food and hygiene items. 

As a Second Harvest Food Bank Partner Agency, the College has been able to almost triple the amount of food they are now able to provide their students. “As someone who serves students who experience crisis, I am very excited and proud to be part of this collaborative project. Being food insecure while trying to complete a college degree is a big challenge and asking for help is often difficult for many students,” said Keren Rohena, Destination Graduation manager. “By bringing this resource on campus and raising awareness, we are hoping to reduce stigma around this issue and impact as many students as possible. The Raiders Helping Raiders Pantry is a great example of how non-profits, higher education institutions, and the campus community can come together to tackle the problems that affect us.” 

Seminole State’s Destination Graduation has been recognized nationally as an innovative program that connects at-risk students to the resources they need to stay in school. In partnership with Heart of Florida United Way, the program’s goal is to increase the graduation rates of low-income and veteran students attending Seminole State by providing onsite, comprehensive support. 

The Raiders helping Raiders Pantry is located in the student center on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus with points of contact at the Oviedo, Heathrow, and Altamonte Springs locations to ensure students at all campuses have access to the program.   

We are excited to welcome Raiders Helping Raiders Pantry to the Second Harvest of Central Florida family and we look forward to a long and successful partnership.

Patti DeLaCruz

Agency Relations Manager

March 1, 2019

Expanding & Enhancing the Culinary Training Program

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

A month ago, the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest celebrated three more classes of graduating culinary students, all of which have gone on to be fully employed. With an additional 30 graduating students, there are more than 280 alumni of the program who have each created success for themselves and their families.

Recently, Second Harvest examined how we could expand and enhance the program to increase the employability of our graduates and increase the number of students that go through the program.

State Legislature Request

With the help of State Rep. Kamia Brown (HB 2623) and State Sen. David Simmons, we are requesting $350,000 from the Florida legislature to fund the expansion and enhancement of the culinary program for 80 students. The funding will provide hands-on experience with barista and baking skills. By expanding student knowledge and experience with different aspects of the industry it will increase their employability. Baking skills especially are highly sought after by employers.

Additionally, the funding will go towards a passenger van to transport students to and from field trips to potential employers and provide even more transportation for catering events that are staffed by students.

The Department of Economic Opportunity recently forecasted a 10.7%  increased demand for hospitality employees in Central Florida over the next 8 years. This funding request will directly address this increased demand with highly-skilled culinary graduates.

Next Steps

Second Harvest is currently waiting for the House version of the bill (HB 2623) to be scheduled to be heard in its first House committee — the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee. Once the bill has been scheduled to be heard, you will receive a call to action to ensure it passes out of this committee by contacting all Committee members and asking for their support.

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