Organization fights hunger in Longwood as inflation creates increased need for help

Comite Civico Equatoriano Central Florida hosts a monthly food distribution

An organization working to battle food inequity says record inflation has led to an increased need for many families in Central Florida.

LONGWOOD, Fla. – An organization working to battle food inequity says record inflation has led to an increased need for many families in Central Florida.

During an event Friday, Comite Civico Equatoriano Central Florida distributed thousands of pounds of fresh vegetables, meat and other groceries.

Lorena Ortega is the organization’s president and said the food helps fill the gap for those who are struggling or on a fixed income.

[TRENDING: ‘Full liquor dog park:’ Here’s when Pups Pub opens in Orlando | SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens offer flash sale on tickets | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“The inflation is so high. The gas prices, the food, everything is more expensive,” Ortega said. “They can have food for about a week, probably.  That helps a lot of people.”

The food drive is held monthly in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank, Farm Share, and National Community Services. The event takes place at Lake Katheryn Plaza, which is located at 1271 S. U.S. Hwy 17-92 in Longwood.

Eduardo Gamboa was one of the dozens who lined up on Friday and said the food helps him make ends meet.

“When you go to the store, you see it. Things that used to be $1.00 are $1.50,” Gamboa said. “This (food) would kind of offset the cost of a tank of gas.”

Loretta Whitaker is on Social Security and said her income has remained the same while prices have soared.

“My Social Security doesn’t cover everything,” Whitaker said. “If I didn’t go to food pantries, I wouldn’t be able to eat very well.”

No matter the situation, Ortega said the goal behind the monthly event is to help as many people as possible and will continue to do so if there’s a need.

“We have a purpose in life, so we need to help others,” Ortega said. “When we’re blessed, it’s to be able to bless other ones.”

The next food distribution event is scheduled for July 22 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at Lake Kathryn Plaza.

For further details about the organization, click here.

Check out the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find every episode in the media player below:


About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.