Seminole County grants $850K to Second Harvest Food Bank to help families

Church says the grant helps free up resources as food need rises

Seminole County is using $850,000 from its community block grant COVID-19 funding to help Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

OVIEDO, Fla. – Seminole County is using $850,000 from its community block grant COVID-19 funding to help Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

That food will be distributed to nearly 50 food pantries across Seminole County, including the pantry at East Coast Believers Church in Oviedo.

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Workers at Second Harvest Food Bank said the number of people searching for food assistance is up 25% since June and volunteers send out at least 250,000 meals a day.

It’s been a challenge for low-income families in Central Florida within the last couple of months due to food, rent, and gas prices going up.

Pastor Norm Dubois said East Coast Believers Church has been handing out meals to families in need since the beginning of the pandemic.

At one point, the church opened a COVID-19 testing and vaccine site.

Dubois said the goal is to help more families struggling with inflation, which is why they plan to expand their pantry to a bigger room next door to the church.

“The grant that Seminole County provided to Second Harvest is huge for us because it frees our resources that we use to purchase all of this food, and it allows us to get that food given to us through that grant and it opens up the doors for us to remodel and expand our reach,” Dubois said.

According to research by Feeding America, about 50,000 residents in Seminole County are experiencing food insecurity, including 12,000 children.

Dubois said families interested in visiting their food pantry can log on to the East Coast Believers website or call the church at 407-774-3222.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!