Second Harvest, volunteers fill 20,000 bags for kids facing hunger

Second Harvest of the Big Bend fills thousands of food bags for kids
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 9:25 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Second Harvest of the Big Bend held a backpack drive Friday to fill 20,000 bags of food for kids dealing with food insecurity.

Monique Ellsworth with Second Harvest said the bags will go home with kids on Friday afternoon during the school year. “To make sure that kids that might not otherwise have food at home to eat over the weekend, they leave school with food,” said Ellsworth.

According to Feeding America, one-in-six Florida children are classified as food insecure. Their report also shows 2.2 million people in the state are facing hunger; of that number, roughly 660,000 are children. “It’s very heartbreaking to see kids who might not have anything to eat on the weekend,” said Tondia Neal with the Oasis Center for Women and Girls.

Neal volunteered to help pack food bags on Friday. She works directly with kids who face hunger issues. “Sometimes they’re very unwilling to go home,” said Neal. “They have an overall sadness to their demeanor because they know the situation in which they’re returning.”

Ellsworth said food insecurity is a growing problem with the cost of living increasing; this also means people are finding more ways to cut costs. “The first thing they’re likely going to do is either purchase less food or purchase less expensive food,” said Ellsworth. “Which might mean their children don’t have access to food over the weekend.”

The bags will be distributed to students in eight North Florida counties when the school year begins.

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