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Want to Help People Affected by the Coronavirus Pandemic? Start a Virtual Food Drive This Holiday

Photo: Calle Macarone @callemac

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Central Floridians who want to help provide meals to local families during the pandemic and maintain social distancing can do so through virtual food drives. These drives have already raised more than $98,000 dollars for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.

The pandemic has put pressure on food banks, with tens of thousands of Floridians out of work. 

Online food drives encourage people to donate money instead of actual food items. 

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Erika Spence says 118 groups have already signed up to participate since March 12. 

“So, you’ll see apples, you’ll see peanut butter, you’ll see bread and carrots, an assortment of potential items that people will receive that we will then purchase with the money that is donated through the virtual food drive.”

Spence says getting started is as easy as answering a few questions on their website and setting up a username and password.

UCF Interim Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning Ann Miller says faculty and staff in four departments decided to start their drive over email. 

“All of us have maybe someone we know personally who’s out of a job or maybe whose even ill or affected somehow with COVID-19. But if we’re having a hard time figuring out how to get involved this is a tool for people who just really want to help and don’t know how.”

Miller says they already had to double their goal to over $2,000 dollars, as they raised the first $1000 dollars in less than four hours. 

Second Harvest isn’t accepting food donations to avoid the risk of contamination as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the area.

If you’d like to listen to the story, click on the clips above.

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