Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is proud to announce the recent “Share a Meal” challenge that took place throughout the month of September raised over $15,000, which will provide more than 61,000 meals. The campaign works on a donation basis, and with every $1 raised, up to $9 worth of groceries can be provided through Second Harvest’s network of 550 feeding partners.
The food is utilized for people in need by emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other organizations serving families in need. By challenging friends and family to take action in the fight against hunger, while also using social media as a tool for change, participants photographed themselves enjoying a meal and then posted it on social media using the appropriate hashtag. The person who created the post got to use their own platform to announce their commitment to donating to struggling families and help them get the food assistance they need. Donation amounts to Second Harvest Food Bank after their meal were based on the cost of the meal in their picture, or any amount they wish to give. Share A Meal donations are accomplished online using a credit or debit card. Each post also contained a challenge to at least three other users to do the same challenge, thus keeping the ball rolling in terms of creating an impact.
“The community responded to our call this September, and we are extremely grateful,” said Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “The generosity of our supporters and hunger heroes will help relieve some uncertainty for local families who worry about where their next meal will come from.”
It’s been reported that Osceola County is in the greatest need for meal assistance in Central Florida. While Second Harvest Food Bank has increased its capacity of being able to feed a hungry population in Central Florida, with the help of 38 feeding partners, the Meal Gap study found that 31,650 people in Osceola County do not know where their next meal will come from. On average, a person will spend about $10 eating lunch out. For that amount of money, Second Harvest can distribute 40 meals through its feeding programs, utilizing food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, and daycare centers.
“Every meal shared, every dollar raised, makes a difference for someone in our area who can’t afford enough food. For children, it means being able to grow and think normally, and to perform better in school,” said Greg Higgerson, vice president of development at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. “For low-income families, it means being able to continue working and providing for their households. For seniors, food can literally be the difference between health or serious illness.”
Remember, there is no bad time of year to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank! Even though the challenge has ended, you can learn more about how to help close the food gap, especially through the “Share a Meal” challenge, by visiting www.FeedHopeNow.org.