Second Harvest feeds the hungry and needs donations | News

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Second Harvest feeds the hungry and needs donations
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- What do you do when your pantry is empty and there's no money in the bank? It is a reality many First Coast families are facing. In 2012, Second Harvest Food Bank experienced a dramatic increase in food distribution.

"I think it is a blessing that this agency is here," said Donna Hill.

Hill, 53, was the breadwinner in her family of three until she became disabled.

"I got very sick," said Hill. "I am still trying to cope with it." 

And then she was terminated from her job in December 2012.

"I am the breadwinner on a lot less money," she said, "but still the breadwinner."

Hill went from church to church using a voucher system to get food, then she realize there was a Second Harvest pantry right under her nose, the place where she worships: St. Matthews Lutheran church.

"They gave me a box," said Hill "It was enough to get me through for two weeks in meals."

Now every two weeks, the St. Matthews Lutheran food pantry gives her box number 24, full of food.

"If it wasn't there I wouldn't know what to do," she said.

More than 450 agencies, like St. Matthews Lutheran rely on Second Harvest. Pastor Walter Brown's Bethany Ministries is one of those agencies.

"We would get as many of these as we can and they have enough to feed a family of four about six meals," said Brown.

The agencies buy the food at very reduced price and then provides food to the community.

"You were talking about $9 for this box," said Pastor Brown.

And they give it away to the community at no charge.

"We have it in our budget to give food for folks who are hungry," said Brown. "You see there's a need, there's a tremendous need."

Pastor Brown couldn't explain the reason for the hunger problem in our community. He said he knows the need is there and help is available.

"For those who are hungry, there are places like Second Harvest to help them," said Brown. "I don't know all the reasons why there is such a hunger problem, but there's one thing we can do is help those who ask."

Second Harvest estimates that for every dollar donation it receives, the nonprofit agency is able to distribute enough food for seven meals.

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