NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodSouthwest Tallahassee


Second Harvest gets $950k donation; see who gave and where the money is going

Posted at 4:12 PM, Oct 23, 2023
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $950,000 to Second Harvest of the Big Bend
  • The money will be used to fund key resources including a produce processing room and a production kitchen
  • Watch the video to find out how it will impact our local neighbors wondering when they'll receive their next meal


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just donated $950,000 dollars to Second Harvest. It's an amount that's allowing them to develop key resources. In Leon county where 16 percent of families are living in poverty, this donation comes an an important time.

"In the state capital, there's more poverty than the state wide average," said CEO of Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Monique Ellsworth.

She said this donation is helping them achieve their dreams. They are focusing on a couple of key action items.

"Our ability to provide nutrition education and to process some of that food so it's a little easier to consume," said Ellsworth.

She spoke about extending the shelf life of fresh produce they receive at Second Harvest. She said they'll do that in a couple of different way.

"The produce processing, the production kitchen," listed Ellsworth.

They will be able to vacuum pack the produce, and also prepare it a little to increase its accessibility.

She said another focus is education.

They have developed a new system where each package will have a QR code that will take neighbors right to their website where they will find a range of different resources.

"Seasonal recipes so it takes the guess work out of having to decide how they're going to prepare a zucchini, a squash, a butternut squash," said Ellsworth. "Mom and Dad are equipped with the information on how to prepare it immediately."

Vern Stanfill, General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, presented Second Harvest with the check.

He said tackling food insecurity is important to him, particularly for children.

"This county, which is a county of plenty, sometimes we assume we doesn't exist, but it does exist, and it creates great stress," said Stanfill.

He said it felt right to work with Second Harvest because they have a shared vision.

"We have an obligation, a responsibility, to help one another," said Stanfill.

Second harvest said this donation is helping them achieve their future goals of being a living breathing education center for adults and children.