Second Harvest Food Bank addresses findings of the recent national survey
A new study recently found that one in seven people in Central Florida struggle with hunger, and that number is one in five for local children. According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2019 report, many people in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia, and Brevard counties still don’t know when or where their next meal will come.
According to the study, there are 52,000 people in Seminole County that suffer from food insecurity.
Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, believes there are several reasons why so many people are still struggling with hunger, despite a record low unemployment rate.
“Food insecurity rates still haven’t returned to pre-recession levels, which means even though the economy has improved, our hunger problem hasn’t,” said Krepcho. “The continued rise in cost of living and the affordable housing crisis all play into this. When people struggle to pay rent and cover other monthly living expenses, they tend to cut down on food first. This leads to kids going to school hungry and not being properly nourished.”
The report shows that 143,000 children in the region are food insecure, enough to fill the seats in more than seven Amway Centers. Of Central Florida’s six counties, Volusia County’s food-insecurity rates are significantly higher than the national average. Brevard and Osceola counties also were well above national levels.
A summary of the findings, an interactive map of the United States and the full report are available at map.feedingamerica.org.
About Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
SHFBCF is a member of Feeding America – the largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. SHFBCF secures and distributes food and grocery products to approximately 550 local nonprofit feeding programs throughout Central Florida. Last year, with the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed nearly 58 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes. In addition, Second Harvest’s 16-week culinary program teaches foodservice-based technical, life and employability skills to economically hard-pressed adults. Second Harvest is distributing enough food to feed 53,000 people a day. To learn more about SHFBCF, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.