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Second Harvest Food Bank fights hunger in Central Florida, opens in new, larger facility

50+ million people in America struggle with hunger and 1 in 5 Central Floridians currently need food assistance, an increase of 152% from 2006. 47% of those who are hungry are children. Imagine having to take an exam or going to school and doing well while living on an empty stomach – you are physically and mentally not going to be able to last real long.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia.

They recently moved to an expanded, new $15 million 100,000-square-foot distribution center and headquarters – the Morgan & Morgan, P.A., Hunger Relief Center — at the corner of Old Winter Garden Road and Mercy Drive in Orlando.

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Disney Imagineers helped design and paint the new facility’s murals

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The new volunteer break room

The new facility is able to hold up to 300 volunteers a day (up from 60 in their past facility), and provides a 440-percent increase in refrigerated storage space and a 330 percent increase in freezer capacity, as well as more rooms for volunteers, a banquet room, and a community kitchen sponsored by Darden Foundation.

Inside the Darden Community Kitchen, Executive Chef Dawn Viola oversees a 16-week culinary-school course to teach unemployed and under-employed Central Floridians new skills and career paths in the culinary world. The Community Kitchen is also where special events and catering is handle at very great rates and all the money goes right back to the Second Harvest Food Bank operations. Check out their full menu and available services here:

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Inside the Darden Community Kitchen

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The Second Harvest Banquet Room, available for bookings for special events at a very good price

Every month Second Harvest Food Bank invites local top chefs into the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen to prepare a spectacular multi-course prix-fixe menu for 100 guests. Revenue generated through the Guest Chef Night events is invested directly back into Second Harvest’s hunger relief programs.

As part of their core curriculum, Second Harvest culinary training students work alongside the guest chefs to create and present each mouthwatering course. Live video feed from the kitchen to the dining room lets guest see all of the action. More info on the next event here:

Every September, Second Harvest Food Bank and Food Banks across the nation participate in Hunger Action Month. During this time we ask our communities to lend their voice and spread the word about hunger. Find out more at:

Volunteer, donate, give – today at

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Local Bloggers attend Second Harvest Food Bank’s Social Media tour

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Local blogger Jennifer Vargas sports her new Google Glasses – the future is here

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Volunteers hard at work at 2nd Harvest Food Bank

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Second Harvest Executive Chef Dawn Viola

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Grilled lamb chop with cassoulet, house made sausage

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Maple Bacon Doughnuts, filled with Bavarian Creme

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