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Food Bank Aims to Start Training Program for Local Non Profits

Central Florida’s largest food bank says there’s a need for better training for local food assistance programs.

Last year Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributed more than 60 million pounds of groceries to about 550 food assistance programs.

Vice President of development Greg Higgerson says as the need grows, there’s a risk of a bottleneck at those local organizations.

“As we look to the future here in Central Florida of hunger relief, we not only have to look at how can we get more food out but we also have to look at how can we make our network of providers out there stronger,” says Higgerson.

Some of the challenges for smaller non profits include finding adequate storage and refrigeration, transporting the food, and sometimes a simple lack of funding.

This fall, Second Harvest aims to start an agency benefits pilot program to teach those organizations how to be more effective non-profits.

Higgerson says there may also be some funding in the program to help buy equipment.

According to a report out this week, in 2013 Central Floridians sought help getting food more than 3.7 million times.

Higgerson says the report highlights the tough choices many residents face as they struggle with food insecurity.

“70% of the households [surveyed in the report] had to choose between paying for food and paying the rent or mortgage at least one time during that year,” says Higgerson.

“73% of people reported having to choose between paying for food and their utilities.”

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »