‘The need is really still huge:’ Second Harvest preps to help those in need for holiday season

Nonprofit readies for busiest time of year

ORLANDO, Fla. – As we near the holiday season, organizations like the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and their partner agencies are preparing to feed people for Thanksgiving.

Jennifer Brown recently started the For Seasons pantry at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church back in February. She said the number of people they serve has steadily increased since opening.

“It generally increases by about 10 people per week but we’re expecting much more than that for Thanksgiving,” Brown said.

Brown said Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is their main supplier. She said they plan to get most of their Thanksgiving staples from the organization.

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“Everybody wants the turkey, which we’re getting from Second Harvest,” Brown said. “And so the typical canned items, vegetables and things like that, stuffing, all of those items that everyone always loves milk, eggs, just staples that you need to make things with the other items that you’ve picked up.”

According to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, in September their online food finder tool saw an average of 592 searches a day -- totaling more than 17,000 searches for the month.

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That number is up by more than 10,000 searches compared to last September.

“The truth of the matter is, we’re still distributing at pandemic levels, which is for us is about 300,000 meals a day here in Central Florida,” Second Harvest Chief Development Officer Greg Higgerson said. “So the need is really still huge. And we need people to remember that and help us get through the holidays and beyond.”

Higgerson said they’ll be hard at work this month making sure they can help as many people as possible this holiday season.

“It’s our busiest time of year because all of the 625 partner agencies that we’re putting food into are getting ready for that time of year,” Higgerson said.

If you are in need of food assistance, click here. If you would like to donate to Second Harvest or volunteer, click here.

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About the Author:

Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.