Getting Results Award: Food Bank president leads with vision to meet growing needs

Second Harvest Food Bank offers programs that go beyond food for the needy

ORLANDO, Fla. – Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, is this week's Getting Results Award winner.

Under his leadership since 2004, the food bank has grown into the largest emergency food supplier in Central Florida and one of the biggest in the country. 

Walk through the doors of Second Harvest Food Bank on Mercy Drive in Orlando and you enter a lobby that showcases the state of the art building and warehouse beyond. A 30-foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall is a focal point and window to the beehive of activity happening on the warehouse floor.

Second Harvest serves nearly half a million people a year and provides nearly 4 million pounds of food per month to families in need. But the service doesn't end there. Krepcho says Second Harvest has another 10 programs, that may not get as much attention, helping people and serving food in Central Florida. In fact they started a culinary training program two years ago.

Second Harvest Vice President of Development, Greg Higgerson, says the program has a 100 percent success rate in placing graduates in jobs and teaching them life skills in the process.  

"We're working upstream to help adults who have faced some challenges in their lives. Helping them become economically self sufficient," he says. "Hopefully not ever needing the services of a food assistance program again."  

One of those graduates is Shaneka Jimerson. When Jimerson lost her job she was forced to live in her car with her three kids. If that weren't enough her car caught fire. After losing nearly everything, Second Harvest helped her get back on her feet.  

Jimerson was enrolled in the free culinary program and later hired on to work in the Second Harvest meal preparation program. The program produces five thousand meals a day for local schools.

"One of the things we've learned over the years is that there are a number of different levers you can pull to have an impact on hunger," Higgerson continues,"helping people find a job and sustain a job is a really important part of that."

Jimerson now has a job, an apartment, a car and the respect of her family.

"Kids see mom happy, they're happy!," she says with a huge smile. "I can't thank Second Harvest enough for what they've done for me."


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