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1 in 8 in Central Florida

1 in 8 people in our Central Florida community is facing hunger. Here are more of their stories.

Meet Tikaya

Meet Tikaya

If you'd met Tikaya two years ago, you would say she was on the right track. She graduated from Jones High School, earned an associate's degree and completed cosmetology training.
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Meet Rachel

Meet Rachel

Ten years ago, Rachel was a typical teenager. When the Great Recession hit, both of her parents were laid off from their jobs and suddenly their little income and savings were gone.
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Meet Heather

Meet Heather

Like many families who live paycheck to paycheck, Heather and her husband try to keep their budget simple. She tries to instill the values of appreciation and gratitude in their six children for the things they do have.
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Meet Alaina and Nola

Meet Alaina and Nola

Alaina and Nola are best friends. And like best friends, they have many things in common. They share a love of unicorns and silly songs. Every day after school they play games, do homework and have a warm meal at a Second Harvest Food Bank Kids Café. Read story

Meet Susan

Meet Thelisha

Thelisha feels the added pressure of providing for her son, Malik, during the summer months. From the end of May until mid-August, she has additional expenses for meals and childcare to factor into her already tight budget. Read story

Meet Susan

Meet Michele

Michele feels like she’s been given a second chance at life. After decades of being a victim of domestic violence and sexual abuse, she said enough is enough. Read story

Meet Susan

Meet Susan

For more than 20 years, Susan worked at a factory. It was a good job that provided for her while she raised her daughter. Then one day the factory closed. Susan lost her job and her health insurance. Read story

2018 Holiday Food Drop

Meet Kelly

It's amazing what a hand up can make. When we first met Kelly, she was struggling to survive. Fast forward, her husband is celebrating his one-year work anniversary, and her family is getting back on their feet. Read story

2018 Holiday Food Drop

Over 2,500 Families Served

With just a few days left until students head home for a 17-day holiday break, Second Harvest and Orange County Public Schools and Nutrition Services partnered to help ease the burden of hunger for the 9th year in a row. Read story

Amelia's story of hope and courage

Meet Amelia

Every day was a new challenge for Amelia after she came home one day to find her husband had abaonded their family. Devastated, but determined, Amelia fought against all odds to pull her family through dark times. Read story

Shelly's story of hope and courage

Meet Shelly

Like most parents, Shelly wants the best for her kids. A single mother and former home health aide, she has found herself in a place she never thought would be the best place for her and her daughter to be: a homeless shelter. Read story

Sam's story of hope and courage

Meet Sam

At nine years old, Sam had the weight of the world on his shoulders. In the last year, he had lost his dad and his home. On a rainy afternoon, he and his mom walked into one of Second Harvest’s feeding partners at their wits end, tired, hungry, and wet. Read story

David and Jamil's story of hope and courage

Meet David and Jamil

At Midway, David and Jamil receive fresh, hot meals every day after school and at lunchtime during the summer. These meals contribute to their overall health, ability to learn and earn better grades while increasing their chances of success. Read story

Tammi's story of hope and courage

Meet Tammi

Tammi was running her family’s aviation business when a series of laws came into effect in Florida that were made retroactive. Through no fault of her own, Tammi was forced to close her family business. She and her husband had three young boys to feed and turned to a food pantry to help. Read story

Story of Hope and Courage: Joan

Meet Joan

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.
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Shandra's story of hope and courage

Shandra update

Shandra went from a full-time job down to part-time in order to complete the program. She had to take a step back in order to move forward, and it has been worth it. Her dream to cook is now providing a better life for Shandra, her husband, James, and their four children. Read story

Story of Hope and Courage: Michel'le

Meet Michel'le

Michel’le Snell grew up with her grandmother and the two spent many days in the kitchen making family recipes. But when her grandmother’s house was foreclosed, Michel’le and her three daughters had to find a new place to live. With no job and no car, she spent her income tax return on two month’s rent.
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Soline's Story of Hope and Courage

Meet Soline

Solinee Dulcio was recognized at the Top Student at last fall’s Culinary Training Program graduation. Originally from Haiti, Soline struggled with depression and unemployment before applying to the program. Today she is employed full-time at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort as a prep cook.
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Anna's story of hope and courage

Meet Anna

Anna and her son are one of many working families struggling to find good paying jobs, keep up with bills and have enough food on their table. Anna has worked 40 hours per week in retail for many years but recently her hours were reduced. Read story

Story of Hope and Courage: Anita

Meet Anita

For many seniors today a relaxing retirement is an unattainable dream. According to Generations United, about 2.5 million grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren’s needs, like Anita. She is a resident in Orlando’s Washington Park neighborhood and cares for four grandchildren, ages 5, 8, 9 and 11.
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Katherine's Story of Hope and Courage

Meet Katherine

Katherine is just weeks away from completing Second Harvest’s Culinary Training Program as part of the first Spanish-language class. In the past she has worked at a bakery, but steady work has been a challenge. Then, last fall, Hurricane Maria devastated her town in Puerto Rico.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Faces of Hunger

Puerto Rican Evacuees Culinary Training Journey

Miguel lost everything when Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico in Fall of 2017. His story is 1 in over 140,000 Puerto Ricans who have arrived in Central Florida since the storm, but with the help of Second Harvest's Culinary Training Program, he is working toward rebuilding his life for him and his daughter.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Faces of Hunger

Faces of Hunger

Hunger can be a disaster year round. Add to that the disruption and devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and this holiday season could be a recipe for disaster for thousands of Central Florida families and displaced Puerto Ricans. Here are some of their stories:
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Veterans and Volunteers

Veterans & Volunteers

Christina enlisted in the Air Force after high school. She remembers the sense of pride and accomplishment she felt after completing basic training. She went on to serve as a surgery tech in Desert Storm. After returning from war, she became sick and received a medical retirement. Retirement was a blessing because she was so ill, but also an unexpected disruption in her life. Within two weeks, she lost her job, her income and her personal identity.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Story of Chef Susan Anderson

Chef Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson always loved cooking. When her wages stagnated, she lost her car and then her home, Susan applied to Second Harvest Food Bank's 14- week Culinary Training Program with the hope of a new beginning for her family. "I was working in retail management and food service but my career was stalled," recalls Anderson.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Meet Teddy

Life Changing Experience

When Shandra started the Culinary Training Program at Second Harvest, she had no clue how much it was going to change her life for the better. She faced a lot of challenges heading in to the program, but along the way found the support and strength she needed to climb over those hurdles and flourish. Read and be inspired by Shandra's amazing story, and how she has been since leaving the program.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Chef Kenneth Neal

Chef Kenneth Neal

Chef Kenneth Neil is a graduate of Second Harvest's Culinary Training Program. This 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.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Air Puddin'

Air Puddin'

Have you ever had to eat "air puddin'" because you didn't have enough to eat? Cordie does when there isn't enough food to go around for her and her three great grandkids. Watch Cordie's story to learn how Second Harvest feeding partners like The Woodbury Church are helping to make a difference in the lives of so many of our Central Florida seniors and families.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Meet Teddy

Meet Teddy

Homeless and struggling, Theodore was looking for a second chance when he started in our 14-week Culinary Training Program. Now graduated, he has been able to turn his life around and find hope.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– SNAP Success: Meet Fred

SNAP Success: Meet Fred

Fred is 78-years old, and ‘recently retired.’ Actually, he had made no plans to stop working, but was forced to do so when the company he worked for made some changes. Because he was mostly a lower-wage earner his entire life, Fred never managed to sock away huge sums for his later years. He had saved a reasonable amount for emergencies, but that went pretty quickly in the months following his job loss. His unemployment benefits ran out as well.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Jeffrey's Story

Jeffrey's Story

Jeffrey is an eighth grade student in Orange County with big dreams to be a motorcycle mechanic one day. He is also a part of a growing percentage of public school students in Central Florida who are eligible for free or reduced meals because of their family's economic situation, and rely on the nutrition they get from school.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Paula's Story

Paula's Story

For four months, 66-year old disabled widow Paula found herself with no electricity or running water in her apartment. Her $500 a month rent was past due, and with a fixed income of only $700, each month was a series of hard decisions. Until she met Delia, a Second Harvest Outreach Specialist.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– Hector's Story

Hector's Story

Hector worked in the civil service industry for over 25 years, until a back injury started to deteriorate his health. At home, he supported both his parents and siblings until his condition worsened.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– A Mother's Story

A Mother's Story

When Judie's husband Paul lost his job as a Civil Engineer during the Great Recession, all the air was let out of the family's financial balloon. Being homeless was beyond the family's wildest imagination, even just a year before when they had felt so secure.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– The Tuna Turkey

The Tuna Turkey

James and Melanie are both young, college-educated adults with two young children. Recently, Melanie learned that her company was down-sizing and lost her job. They cut back in all the ways they could think of, and sacrificed many of their 'comforts.' Melanie began looking for work immediately, but was not successful. When James learned just one month later that his job, too, was going to disappear, the family faced a true calamity.
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Stories of Hope & Courage– First Timers

First Timers

Sandra is a 55-year old grandmother, who is raising twin ten-year old grandchildren. She works part time at a local nonprofit organization, but her wages are not enough to cover rent, utilities, clothing, and other expenses for the small family.
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View Culinary Training Student “Recipe for Success” stories

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Contact Us 411 Mercy Drive, Orlando, Fl 32805Ph: 407-295-1066 | F: 407-295-5299 Visit our other sites: Feed Hope Now Blog Partner Agencies gogreenback with Second Harvest Food Bank
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