News Release: Second Harvest
WHAT: To help meet increased food demands, America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the addition of its first 36-foot refrigerated trailer. Made possible through a $50,000 Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation grant, this essential fleet addition will quadruple the capacity to serve the hungry throughout the 11-county, Big Bend region. The Bi-Lo Holdings Foundation is the 501(c)(3) organization under Bi-Lo Holdings, the parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie stores. To continue to fuel the good work of the food bank, Winn-Dixie will also donate 1,000 pounds of food during the ceremony.
WHY: The food bank's new trailer will provide more efficient food rescue pickups, the ability to travel greater distances to deliver more food to mobile feeding sites and increased aid during disaster relief efforts. Additionally, the Second Harvest warehouse is experiencing a shortage of nonperishable food inventory because of increased demand and a decrease in food and monetary donations.
WHERE: America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend (Outside Loading Dock area)
110 Four Points Way, Tallahassee, Fla. 32305
Rain Plan (if needed): Inside the warehouse at the loading dock entrance
WHEN: Friday, March 7 at 9:30 a.m.
WHO: Richard English, chief executive officer, America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend
Jessica Jackson, development director, America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend
Wil Merrick, board member, America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend
Drew Elkins, Winn-Dixie district director along with area store directors
Wayne Makin, partner agency member, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church
VISUALS: A colorfully wrapped semi-trailer featuring Second Harvest's logo, Winn-Dixie's logo and messaging on the sides. The trailer will contain approximately 1,000 pounds of food which will be unloaded after the ribbon cutting. Afterward, media is invited on a tour of the facility to learn more about the community's needs and day-to-day operations.
• Second Harvest urgently needs monetary and food donations to restock its warehouse.
• Nearly 115,000 people live in poverty in the 11 counties the food bank serves, including 29,400 children. Every $1 donated provides four meals to people in need.
• Many families served by the food bank have nowhere else to turn - especially the working poor. They make too much money to qualify for federal benefits but earn too little to make ends meet.
• The demands of the food bank have increased 116 percent in the past five years:
o In 2013, Second Harvest distributed 6.7 million pounds of food in 11 counties of the Big Bend including Leon, Jefferson, Taylor, Wakulla, Gadsden, Jackson, Liberty, Madison, Calhoun, Franklin and Gulf counties.
o Second Harvest expects to distribute 7 million pounds of food this year - the equivalent of 5.8 million meals.
• Food donated by Winn-Dixie will be put to immediate use through Second Harvest's Back Pack Program, Senior Grocery Program and for individuals and families through local food pantries.