For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in many changes, including working from home, limiting trips to the store and canceling family gatherings. Jimmy Brown has a new routine too.
"My new normal is going from the doorstep, down the driveway to the mailbox, and back again," he explains. Like many seniors in Central Florida, Jimmy is staying close to home. "I go out to get some fresh air, and that's it."
Prior to the pandemic, Jimmy explains that going out to the store was a once a week adventure. He experienced a massive stroke several years ago, which has forced him to take things easy and step away from his job as a hotel food and beverage manager.
"I loved my job," he recalls. "I loved working with people, helping people and making their day just a little bit better."
Now, Jimmy is on the receiving end of a different kind of hospitality through Second Harvest's Bring Hope Home program. He remembers watching the news and learning about a new home delivery program to help homebound seniors receive nutritious food during the pandemic. The next day he made a phone call.
"I was connected with an angel on the other end of the phone," he explains.
A Second Harvest team member helped Jimmy complete a screening application over the phone. An online version is now available for applicants to complete as well. Once approved, a team of volunteers and local delivery partners work together to ensure food is transported safely to recipients across six Central Florida counties, including to Jimmy at his home in east Orange County.
The Bring Hope Home program provides both fresh produce and nonperishable food items. The produce box is an assortment of fresh vegetables and changes with the season. The nonperishable food box includes lots of staple items to make meals. Jimmy especially likes it when he finds spaghetti and marinara sauce inside. "I want to say a big, big, big, big thank you," says Jimmy.