ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – One in five children in Central Florida is at risk of going hungry tonight.
This week’s Getting Results Award winner is doing her best to change that.
Carrie Torres founded Provision Packs Pantry five years ago after seeing childhood hunger firsthand.
“I still tear up because it really and truly is the day my life changed,” Torres said.
One day as a classroom volunteer for her daughter’s second grade class, she saw two boys standing alone during a school party while others gathered and played.
“I made the comment that nobody was eating,” Torres remembers. “And the teachers said, ‘Make sure these two children are because it’s probably the only meal they’ll get going into the weekend.’ I looked over and they were devouring their food and it was desperation and happiness at the same time.”
Torres started Provision Packs in her home, first by helping three children at Pathways Elementary, now the nonprofit regularly packs over 300 bags for seven schools. The meals are distributed on Friday as a weekend supplement for kids who qualify for school breakfast and lunch programs.
Every Thursday night volunteers gather at a warehouse in Ormond Beach where stacks of dry goods are waiting to be bagged. Operations manager Amy Knox shows new volunteers how the process works and within minutes an assembly line of people are bagging, tying and loading bags into waiting cars.
“Carrie is one of the most amazing people, she’s full of energy, full of life,” Knox said. “She’s definitely getting results.”
Volunteer Dawn DeJesus nominated Torres for the News 6 Getting Results Award.
“She gets huge results,” DeJesus said. “Every week, every day and for the last five years. She really is an amazing person.”
In just over an hour, the group assembled 339 bags, which equal 2,712 meals.
“It’s not me, it’s all these people in our community,” Torres said. “I’m very humbled because every week these people work all day and they come here and volunteer because they believe in our mission.”