TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — This Giving Tuesday, city and state leaders are helping an organization that's seen some of the biggest need during the pandemic.
Florida's Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried, was joined by Loranne Ausley, Allison Tant, Mayor John Dailey, and superintendent Rocky Hanna at Second Harvest of the Big Bend to bag produce.
Since the pandemic began, Second Harvest has increased its weekly food distribution sites across the Big Bend area.
"Because this is an issue that the entire state of Florida needs to know," said Fried. "It is 'Giving Tuesday', an opportunity to come and participate in something like this, where we're helping our community and giving a little extra today. It's really going to make a big difference in so many families across the Big Bend."
The officials packed 700 bags of Satsuma mandarin oranges, Florida-grown in Jackson and Jefferson Counties. The fruit will be distributed by Second Harvest to families in need throughout North Florida.
Approximately 3 million Floridians suffer from chronic hunger, including 850,000 children. Food banks are experiencing record demand this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with food insecurity expected to rise as high as 19 percent in Florida.
The next Second Harvest distribution is Wednesday at the Frenchtown Neighborhood Improvement Association from 9 a.m. to noon.