ORLANDO, Fla. – It was all cheers in Orlando Friday at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida as a caravan with more than 6,600 pounds of food will soon be getting results in the region’s fight against hunger.
“There are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of families in our community who are at risk of going to bed hungry at night,” said Dan Samuels, director of philanthropy for the nonprofit.
The food donation came from five HCA Florida Healthcare hospitals that teamed up to collect different types of canned food and other goods for the Central Florida’s largest food bank.
“Above all else we’re committed to the care and improvement of human life is not that less similar to what Second Harvest is trying to accomplish,” Trey Abshier- CEO of HCA Florida Lake Monroe hospital said.
Dozens of volunteers for the healthcare system got hands-on to unload the five large vans. But the hospital group isn’t just collecting food, they’re also using social media to raise funds for Second Harvest Food Bank.
“We’ve created a hashtag, #HCAFloridaFeedingFamilies, and each time that hashtag is posted to social media, five dollars will be donated,” Abshier said.
According to a March 2021 study by Feeding America, one in seven people and one in five children in Central Florida live in households that struggle to make ends meet and put food on the table. The report found food insecurity has remained elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels.
“When it comes to need in our community, we’ve kind of reached a new normal. There are so many folks that started needing food assistance for the first time during this pandemic who are still working to stabilize their families and get back on their feet,” Samuels said.
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