Summer of Dreams Volunteers “Feed Hope” for Needy Families
Students and Sponsors Participate in Food-Packing Volunteer Event at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Sponsors, supporters and students from Fifth Third Bank’s Summer of Dreams, a 10-week program for local homeless children, recently volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to sort, pack and organize non-perishable food donations. Summer of Dreams not only provides homeless children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties with two meals per day and a weekend food pack, but also daytime activities, mentoring, school supplies and financial counseling for parents.
“Hunger does not take a summer vacation,” said Reagan Rick, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank (Central Florida). “In addition to financial counseling, one of the most important parts of the program is being able to provide homeless children two meals per day and additional food for the weekend.”
In Central Florida, about one in every four children struggle with food insecurity – specifically 24 percent in Orange, 23 percent in Seminole and 27 percent in Osceola.
“Many children who depend on their school’s free or reduced lunches often go hungry during the summer months,” said Greg Higgerson, vice president of development for Second Harvest Food Bank. “Second Harvest allocated more than 36 million pounds of food in Central Florida last year … and people still went hungry. The need is great, but with partners like those collaborating through the Summer of Dreams, we’re able to chip away at this giant issue.”
Through June, Fifth Third Bank is also spearheading a food drive in all of its Central Florida branches to collect non-perishable food items for Second Harvest Food Bank, which will then go to Summer of Dreams.
Top 5 Facts:
- As a part of Summer of Dreams, students and community members completed 6,445 service hours in 2012.
- In 2012, Summer of Dreams served 156,390 meals to 1,203 students in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.
- In Central Florida, about 25 percent of children struggle with food insecurity.
- More than 1.1 million children in Florida suffered from food insecurity in 2010 and more than 12 million children suffer from food insecurity in America.
- Families of more than 18 million children rely on federally subsidized meal programs provided through schools, which are not available during the summer months.
- The national average cost of a meal in Florida is $2.62 while the average in the United States is $2.52.