Here on this blog I spend a lot of time writing about my adventures in the kitchen and posting my recipes. I am fortunate that I am able to take a list to the grocery store and buy everything I need. We eat well during the week. We eat a wide variety of good stuff. A wide variety of things I can cook with, post my experience of, and share with you.
I had my eyes opened this past weekend when I attended an event at the Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando. One in five of my fellow Central Floridians do not know where their next meal is coming from. ONE IN FIVE. There are 732,000 people in the Orlando area who need some kind of food assistance.
Second Harvest invited a handful of bloggers to their brand new 100,000 square foot facility for a tour and luncheon for Hunger Action Month. We watched volunteers filling bags of foods to be delivered to any of the 50,000 people a week who receive assistance.
We walked into the warehouse and saw rows of canned goods, juice boxes and jars of peanut butter waiting to be boxed up and shipped out to any of the 500 non-profits groups that Second Harvest provides for.
We walked into a huge freezer filled with goods, saw refrigerators filled with eggs and beef and aisles stacked from the floor to the ceiling with dry products. It seems like a lot of food, but realistically, without continued donations from the community, the warehouse would be emptied in less than two weeks.
The old facility was 30,000 square feet and could accommodate only 40 volunteers at any given time. This new space is over 100,000 square feet, can handle over 300 volunteers at a time, and includes classrooms, meeting spaces and a large banquet room available for rent to the general public.
We were also shown the large state-of-the-art kitchen where meals are prepared for special events and banquets such as this blogger luncheon. Our meals were being prepared by some of the students from the Second Harvest culinary program. It is a 12-week intensive course that helps people of all ages who need help entering the workforce. They are taught not only culinary skills to work in a professional kitchen, they are given life skills as well such as resume writing and marketing themselves. The first class just graduated in July and 100% of the students are now employed in the culinary industry in above minimum wage positions. That is amazing.
While in the kitchen we were put to work filling and glazing our own desserts. We filled doughnuts holes with an ale cream filling and topped our treats with a maple-bacon glaze.
Our luncheon was incredible- here are just a few pictures of what the talented staff and students whipped up for us…..
We were all also given our own “Kate.” Kate is one of the 732,000 people here in Central Florida who are hungry and we have been challenged to take Kate with us on our daily travels during the month of September.
Kate is one of 732,000 individuals who struggle with hunger in Central Florida.
Print her out and take her with you to all the interesting places you go each day in September.
Tweet, Instagram, Facebook your photo with the hashtag #feedhopenow or email your Kate photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post it!
Let’s work together to create hunger awareness through Hunger Action Month this September!
Learn more at FeedHopeNow.orgPin It