While Rotary Clubs often host food drives on an annual basis for their local communities, it’s the first time 47 clubs in the Central Florida area are uniting to provide one million meals to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Rotary’s “Million Meal Marathon” kicks off Oct. 30 and runs through Nov. 13.
The effort comes as families continue to experience the impact of lost jobs and other ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent report, Feeding America estimated that one in seven people – and one in five children – in Central Florida live in households that may face food insecurity this year.
“The need is really great, and so are the people of Central Florida,” explained Rotary District Governor Barry Gainer. “I believe that by working together we can reach the goal and help thousands of local families this holiday season.”
Added Dave Krepcho, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida: “We’re extremely grateful to have the Rotary Clubs band together in this way to raise $250,000 – which equates to one million meals. It’s another example of how the Central Florida community has stepped in to help us fill the meal gap caused by the pandemic over the past 18 months.”
Every dollar that’s donated to the campaign can provide four meals. Financial donations can be made securely at www.RotaryMillionMeals.com.
A second campaign is being planned for February 2022.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.4 million members of more than 36,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.
Locally, the five county district includes 47 clubs across Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Sumter counties. Rotary Central Florida brings together almost 2,000 members from a diverse group of professions, ethnicities and religions to collectively raise over $1 million annual to support local and global communities and their citizens. For more information, visit www.rotarycentralflorida.org.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (SHFBCF) 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. In the past year, with the help of food and financial donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank has distributed enough food for 96 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 at no cost to them. Second Harvest is distributing enough food for a quarter of a million meals every day to the six-county service area. To learn more about SHFBCF, visit www.FeedHopeNow.org.