Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

March 28, 2019

2019 Lifetime Achievement Award- Lena Tolliver Family Ties Ministries

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Lena Tolliver

The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a women who devoted her entire life serving others.

Lena Tolliver, President and Founder of Family Ties Ministry in Orlando was born on March 31, 1959 in Kokomo Indiana. . She lived for many years in Ohio before relocating to Central Florida.

Within the last few years, she and her husband Robert founded Family Ties, a volunteer food pantry helping feed many hundreds of needy people.

Family Ties became a Partner Agency in January of 2012. For over 7 years, Lena and her amazing volunteers distributed food into the community with monthly mobile drops and at 2 senior living centers in Orange County. In 2018, Family Ties provided over 255, 000 meals to those in need in Orange County.

Lena was always active with her church and was considered a spiritual mother to many. She was a loving caring beautiful soul who loved to laugh and have fun with her family and friends and her clients.
Everyone was always welcome, no one was a stranger for very long.

Lena struggled with health issues recently but it never let it stop her from serving others. There were times that Lena called Second Harvest from her hospital bed to give us updates, work on a situation or schedule her next mobile drop.

Lena E. Tolliver, passed away suddenly on February 4, 2019 in Orlando. She will be greatly missed and her legacy will live on thru the mission of Family Ties. Lena’s daughter Roxie Batten attended to accept this award in her mom’s honor.

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 15, 2019

Tackling Teen Nutrition

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

One of the largest gaps in childhood hunger in Central Florida is food resources for teens.Hungry students are less likely to focus on their education and more likely to have behavioral problems, lower academic achievement and experience mental health issues.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is working with local schools and community organizations to alleviate teen hunger with School Market partnerships. School Markets provide free snacks, meal items and fresh produce to students attending medium-to-high need schools without question of need or eligibility.

With the support of Walt Disney World, Second Harvest added a new component to the School Market program for the 2018-19 school year. Named the Teen Nutrition Team, these students lead peer-to-peer nutrition education efforts at their high school.

At Jones High School, Fritz Seardon and Jessica Thomas are members of the Teen Nutrition Team. They work together to design games and other activities to engage their peers in conversations about nutrition and prepare a food demo on different fruits, vegetables or healthy recipes each month.

“The people around me are eating healthier, so they can live longer and I can be with them longer,” explains Fritz.

Jessica likes to ask people what kinds of food they like and then try to broaden their horizons. “Sometimes we have different foods for sampling that they haven’t had before,” she explains. She finds a lot of satisfaction in helping students try new foods and understanding how easily accessible they are, whether at the grocery store or at the school market.

Learn more about the School Market program and Teen Nutrition Team at The Teen Nutrition Team is currently recruiting students for the 2019-20 school year from Jones, Oak Ridge and Osceola High Schools. Apply online.

March 13, 2019

Meet Jorge

Author: Agency Relations & Programs Team

Jorge Daupub was forced to leave his home in Venezuela due to the violence that erupted across the country. When he moved to Central Florida he knew very little English and worked odd jobs. He felt alone and scared about his future.

After starting a new job at a local hotel, he learned about Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program from a co-worker. Desperate for a more stable career, he went home to research the program. It seemed too good to be true. After learning about the different opportunities available for students after graduation, he decided to apply.

“When I found Second Harvest, it was such a relief,” explained Jorge. “The support system was a huge help. I didn’t feel alone anymore.”

Jorge is grateful for the new culinary skills he learned, as well as the life skills. “What I love the most is that I wasn’t taught to cook and then expected to figure everything else out on my own. Second Harvest taught me how to make a resume, work as a team, and lots of little things that help me be a professional. I realize how important these lessons are now that I have a job.”

Jorge is working at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. He hopes to continue his career with Hyatt and work with different cuisines and concepts.

The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. To learn more about or apply for the program, visit