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Second Harvest kicks off Beyond The Box initiative

Posted at 11:22 PM, Sep 16, 2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — You've likely heard of thinking outside the box, but Second Harvest of the Big Bend wants you to cook outside of it as well.

Their Beyond the Box initiative kicked off Thursday in Frenchtown with guest Chef Leon Brunson.

"He's pulling out the food that is available to the Frenchtown neighborhood and he's doing a cooking demonstration to try and introduce to people different ways that the food that is provided at no cost can be prepared at home," explained Monique Van Pelt, Second Harvest of the Big Bend CEO.

Frenchtown is in a food desert, meaning it lacks walkable options for affordable and nutritious groceries.

The Frenchtown Kitchen Share, where Brunson led his tasty demonstration, is one of the partner agencies that work with Second Harvest to distribute healthy options. Brunson said he's honored to serve the community like this.

"It's really cool for me to be able to do this, even where we're at," Brunson said, "whether it's helping for like impoverished people, or people who don't come from the same type of wealth, or because of where we're at, hurricanes, you know, disaster relief. I want to be able to give back in that sense."

Last year alone, as people struggled through the pandemic, Second Harvest delivered about 15.2 million pounds of food. That's enough for about 12.6 million meals. Brunson said those meals are best shared with family.

"It changes your whole dynamic as you cook at home, and I think people may have seen that this year, but that's kind of what I want to continue to push is education to people about recipes and ingredients so they'll go home and cook and bond with their families," said Brunson.

It's his way of helping move Beyond the Box as part of Second Harvest's work to help make families whole again.