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Joan Evans lives in Kissimmee, where her daughter attends college. Joan is disabled and unable to work. She makes sure her daughter has breakfast each morning before leaving for class, however, her daughter often skips lunch because the family can’t afford it.
“Hunger is difficult. It’s heartbreaking,” Joan said. “Nothing is ever wasted. If we have leftover vegetables, I make soup.”
When Joan’s older daughter died suddenly last year, she took on the care of her four grandchildren. “I remember thinking to myself, ‘Now what do we do?’”
Like many Central Floridians, Joan’s family was barely getting by, until a crisis interrupted. In this new normal, she struggles to make ends meet on her limited income. She has found relief at St. Rose of Lima, a pantry in Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s network of feeding partners. Once a month Joan is able to fill a wagon with dry goods, fresh bread, meat, dairy and produce.
“I’ve learned that a crisis can try to prevent you from doing what you want. But we band together as a family and a community,” added Joan. “This pantry gives us hope.”
The Second Harvest Culinary Training Program provides qualified, at-risk and economically disadvantaged adults with the culinary and life skills training needed to pursue a sustainable career in the food industry. To learn more about or apply for the program, visit feedhopenow.org/culinarytraining.