Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Second Harvest Food Bank board members unbox food distributed from Mercy Kitchen, courtesy of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Second Harvest celebrated the grand opening of its new Mercy Kitchen on Wednesday, where the food bank hopes to provide as many as 115,000 meals a week.
Due to an increase of food insecurity in Central Florida, the food bank added a newer and bigger facility through the CARES Act funding.
According to a press release, Second Harvest expanded from 1,500 square feet at its main facility to 20,000 square feet at the Mercy Kitchen. The new kitchen has a cooler and freezer area, dry storage, and six receiving and distribution bay doors for all incoming and outgoing food.
With a larger space, volunteers and staff will be able to provide more than 115,000 meals a week through a kids café program, chef-inspired family meal boxes and a 7-day breakfast and lunch boxes.
Vice President of Food Services Nancy Brumbaugh said that the Mercy Kitchen will provide hope for those in need.
"We're now one year into our COVID-disaster relief initiative, and we continue to hear from people who have never been in this position before — they need help feeding their families," said Brumbaugh. "Mercy Kitchen will produce more than meals — it will feed hope to the thousands of kids, seniors, veterans and families in need across Central Florida."
Since the advent of COVID in March 2020, Second Harvest has provided 96 million meals across Central Florida.
The Mercy Kitchen is located at 3702 Mercy Star Court. Although the new kitchen will not be receiving donations on site, they're taking food at their main facility at 411 Mercy Drive.
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