A Lifeline to the Pine Hills Community
We just had a difficult year. Businessess shut down, schools closed and people sheltered in place afraid to gather for fear of getting Covid-19. Pine Hills and surrounding unincorporated areas, home to well over 80,000 people, was especially affected. The ‘worker bees’ of Orange County staffed the tourism industry, worked in public schools, and became the health care support staff to the sick and dying in area hospitals and health care industry.
Many lost jobs and added to the rolls of people already needing help and assistance. According to Second Harvest, people who hadn’t known hunger before the pandemic can no longer afford groceries and searches for food assistance on its website soared from an average of 35 to 300 a day in the past year.
Fortunately, our community is blessed with Second Harvest Food Bank whose nearby warehouse and facilities have worked for years to make sure that as much food as possible can reach those experienceing hunger. They are supported by corporations, community fund-raising, direct gifts and grant donations. Just recently, Darden Corporation provided funding to obtain a 26-foot refrigerated truck for the mobile food bank’s pantry program.
Now serving a six-county service area they provide over 300,000 meals daily, roughly doubling the pre-pandemic distribution. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, staff help sort, pack and deliver supplies where they are needed. Over 550 partner agencies can order online and pick up items for local food distribution.
Go to www.feedhopenow.org. to volunteer, donate or to find a location that distributes food, or call directly 407-295-1066 / 407-295-2777 for help.