TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Second Harvest's 11-county service area in the Big Bend has the highest level of food insecurity in Florida, and 18.9 percent of Floridians go hungry every day.
That's one in five adults, one in five children, or almost 100,000 of our neighbors that experience hunger on a regular basis.
And that was before the coronavirus pandemic.
Food insecurity is a lack of consistent access to enough safe, nutritious and socially acceptable food for an active, healthy and productive life. It can be cyclical or episodic, associated with a crisis like COVID-19.
The need is great right now due to schools being out and people losing their jobs.
But, some much needed relief has made it to Second Harvest. The organization was just given a large donation from Jeff Bezos' Feed America campaign.
A little more than $525,000 of Jeff Bezos' donation will help Second Harvest of the Big Bend feed even more families who may be facing hardships due to COVID-19.
They are required to spend the funds by May 12, according to specifications.
Second Harvest CEO Monique Ellsworth says part of the money will go towards upgrading a few of their machines.
"Of course, Jeff Bezos is the donor so we have to make sure that everything that we purchase follows his donor intent," said Ellsworth. "So we are looking at things like food and purchasing equipment that will help with a distribution and ease of distribution for that team, and making sure that we are going to be best able to support and meet needs of our community."
Ellsworth says that while the contribution is substantial, they will still need help from the community.
"Although the $525,000 is a wonderful gift, it is a very healthy start on what is going to be a very long recovery process for our community," Ellsworth said.
You can always make a monetary contribution to Second Harvest. For more information, click here.