’I don’t think it’s going to get better:’ Central Florida food pantry looks to meet demand for another year

Stephanie Bowman talks to Florida Foodie about efforts at One Heart for Women and Children

The need for food assistance in Central Florida is high and shows no signs of declining.

Stephanie Bowman, the founder and CEO of One Heart for Women and Children, said since the coronavirus pandemic began, her pantry has given enough food to make more than 3 million meals.

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The need for food assistance grew almost immediately, according to Bowman.

“Within the first two weeks of the pandemic (One Heart for Women and Children) started helping over 20,000 people,” Bowman said. “Went from seeing 250 to 325 people each day to, literally, over a thousand people each day.”

It’s a pace that has stayed constant throughout the pandemic and Bowman expects it to continue well into 2021.

“I don’t think it will get better. I don’t see it getting better until at the end of the year,” Bowman said. “There are so many people that are still out of work.”

Bowman has committed her organization to continue serving the community in the same way it has been for at least the next year.

In her conversation with Florida Foodie, Bowman talks more about the people her group is helping and how others can get involved in supporting those in need through One Heart for Women and Children.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates produces News 6 at 5:30 and the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.