I am excited to experience the Central Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference (CFLBlogCon) tomorrow. Since I am a new blogger, I am gravitating more towards the social media aspects of the conference, but I am still eager to learn as much as I can from experts in the blogging world.
I have the opportunity to develop my blogging skills by contributing a post in the Blogging for Good series that the conference’s organizers encouraged all attendees to write. The posts focus on one of six area nonprofits that CFLBlogCon is supporting this year.
As I had visited Second Harvest Food Bank this summer, it seemed like a natural place to blog about. Coincidentally, there was a wrap around the front page of the newspaper last month from the folks at Wawa (my second post was all about the hype surrounding Wawa’s entry into Orlando) and this post from Wawa followed a few days later; both the paper and the post mention the donation of more that $35,000 that the Pennsylvania-based gas and convenience store chain brought to Second Harvest.
During my visit on one of their “Food for Thought” tours, we watched a brief video that talked about the faces of hunger in Central Florida. And the faces they showed in that video were people I knew! While part of me was not surprised to see that particular family in the video (I knew they depended on food aid), it was still quite a shock to see their story and to know that others were seeing their story as well. Without the aid provided by Second Harvest, they and many other families would go hungry.
Afterward, our host, Development Manager Sasha Hausman, led us on tour of the warehouse, which is currently far too small for their needs. Second Harvest has begun building a new facility, the Morgan & Morgan, P.A. Hunger Relief Center, that will help them provide meals to many more than the 732,000 people they were limited in serving last year. The irony of its location on Mercy Drive is not lost on an organization that deals in mercy daily! (See a webcam view of the progress in construction here!)
I want to thank Sasha and the folks at Second Harvest for doing their best to open the eyes of the public to the depth of food needs in Central Florida. Hunger is a 24/7 problem in our area, and the need has only increased in the last few years as the economy soured and struggles to revive.
- Take a Food for Thought tour yourself.
- Organize a group to assemble Hi-Five Kids Packs like the one in the photo.
- Better yet, organize a food drive!
If your ambition isn’t quite that high, you can still help when you dine out:
- Five Guys Burgers and Fries donates 10% of sales on the first Monday night of each month (5-9pm) to Second Harvest.
- Next week, September 17-24, Hawkers Asian Street Fare is hosting a canned food drive. Bring canned goods and receive 10% off your check!
Also, since September is Hunger Action Month, you can check this calendar for other ideas how to do your part to fight hunger in Central Florida. Like the familiar faces I saw in that video, the people we are helping are your friends and neighbors. Spread the word and feed the need!