With just a few days left until students head home for a 17-day holiday break, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and Orange County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services partnered to help ease the burden for families at eight local schools during the ninth annual Holiday Food Drop.
One in six area residents are in economic situations that put them at greater risk of being hungry, and with students at home for holiday break, they also leave behind their free and reduced-price school-provided meals, making the need even greater this time of year.
One mother arrived at Forsyth Woods Elementary in tears. “My husband was laid off this week. His whole office is closing down right before the holidays,” she explained as volunteers loaded the back seat with an assortment of produce, canned and dry items and a whole turkey. “This means the world to us right now. Thank you.”
Throughout the morning, there were continuous moments of happiness and relief as volunteers packed bags of hope for families in need into their cars. A total of 2,509 families were served, including 5,233 adults and 5,560 children.
Thanks to generous support from CarMax, Costco, Red Nose Day and First United Methodist Church, these families across Orange County went home with one less thing to worry about this holiday season.