Bringing Hope to Families through Second Harvest Food Bank

By Judie Kellogg
October 23, 2014
Second Harvest Food Bank Florida

I remember when my home was a cornerstone of our community. Our house was a place that neighbors could turn to if they needed anything, and our greatest constant was the regular dinners we shared as a family.

When the recession hit, it all went away. My husband Paul’s office shut down and, he couldn’t find work. We were given two weeks to walk away from the only house my kids knew.

When a volunteer from the Christian Help Center approached us, I wasn’t ready to ask for help and I carried her card in my wallet for a year. Just before Thanksgiving, Paul went to the Christian Help Center, a recipient of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and told them our story. They listened to him, showed him compassion and sent him home with an emergency food box.

The box was filled with things that we used to take for granted – canned foods, snacks for our kids and a Thanksgiving dinner. Most of all, it gave us back something that we hadn’t had in a long time: the opportunity to sit down to a family dinner, a sense of security and, above all, hope.

That box marked a turning point in our lives. Eventually we both found work, and I started a  job at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, part of the Feeding America network.

I am now the Grocery Alliance Program Manager at the food bank, where I work with Walmart stores to bring meals to families in need. What Walmart gives us is so much more than food -- they help us continue the work we do to give families dignity and security. The $60,000 the food bank won through Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign will allow us to continue being a safe haven for families. Beyond our community, Walmart is providing access to food to more families nationwide through its new sustainable food goals, providing four billion healthier meals over five years.

What most people don’t realize is that Walmart is a critical part of a long process of getting food in the hands of families in need. Their donations support food banks nationwide that distribute food to local pantries where families, just like mine, find not only meals for their tables, but security and hope.