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Second Harvest North Florida 1502 Jessie Street Jacksonville, FL 32206 WeNourishHope.org twitter.com/wenourishhope facebook.com/wenourishhope

A day of thanks All day we heard, “Thank you Second Harvest for this blessing!” Everywhere there were shouts of “Have a Happy Thanksgiving!” from people receiving a meal and volunteers handing them out.

Kent

On Nov. 18, Second Harvest North Florida trucks full of food began arriving at 5:40 a.m. for a Thanksgiving dinner distribution, only to find a line of people already waiting. When the distribution started at 9 a.m., more than 1,000 people were in line. The crowd was a joyful crowd. They had come for a gift that they were thankful for – a complete Thanksgiving dinner that they could take home to share with their families. It was a meal that would bring joy to homes that had seen mostly hard times and struggles this past year. Kent, 52, lost his job as a critical care respiratory therapist a year ago and has not been able to find work. “For every job that comes available, there are 50 to 60 applicants,” he said. “There just is no work in my field. I’d take any job at this point. I applied at Walmart, but didn’t get an interview.” Kent says he is two steps away from homelessness if he doesn’t find work soon. Michelle and John had just met, but they shared their stories as they stood in line. Michelle, 45, told us she had been a school bus driver for 15 years, but decided to quit and go to school to become a John and Michelle medical assistant. “I was trying to get an education to make my life better,” she said. “Instead, I now have a diploma and

can’t find a job.” John, 68, is retired and works with veterans and youth. “I’m a Vietnam vet and back when I was 45, I became addicted to drugs for a few years,” he said. “Now I like to work with young people and help them set goals.” Ruthene and Joanne both lost their accounting jobs when the company they worked for went out of business last December. “Want to know how many job applications I’ve Joanne and Ruthene filled out?” Ruthene, 68, asked. “60 – and not one interview.” Joanne, 44, has applied for even more jobs. “I’ve filled out 150 applications and I’ve had two interviews,” she said. “I just don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t find a job before my unemployment benefits run out.” We heard stories like these all day. But mostly what we heard was, “Thank you Second Harvest for this blessing!” Everywhere there were shouts of “Have a Happy Thanksgiving!” from people receiving a meal and volunteers handing them out. Big smiles were on faces wherever we turned. By 12:30 p.m., we had distributed our goal of 2,500 Thanksgiving dinners. It was truly a day of thanks.

E STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I TRY TO FEED MY KIDS FIRST AND ME LAST.” “I WORK WITH CLIENTS WHO DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT. THEY ARE CHILDREN AND MANY TIMES THEY CAN N NCENTRATE ON THEIR STUDIES, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOOD IN THE HOME.” “IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN [THAT WE HAVE TO USE THE FOOD BANK], ONLY WHEN WORK SLOWS DOW E DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO AVOID IT.” “WE STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I TRY TO FEED MY KIDS FIRST AND ME LAST.” “I WORK WITH CLIENTS WHO DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT. THEY A ILDREN AND MANY TIMES THEY CAN NOT CONCENTRATE ON THEIR STUDIES, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOOD IN THE HOME. “IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN [THAT WE HAVE TO USE THE FOO NK], ONLY WHEN WORK SLOWS DOWN. WE DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO AVOID IT.” “EVERY MONTH A CHURCH, AFFILIATED WITH YOU ALL, BRINGS ME PLENTY OF FOOD. I COULD NEVER SHOW HOW MUCH IT


City Rescue Mission creates a joyous Christmas meal for those less fortunate During the holiday season, the more than 450 agencies we serve work extra hard to provide holiday joy to those who would otherwise be hungry and maybe alone. City Rescue Mission is one of our largest agencies, serving more than 280,000 meals each year to Jacksonville’s hungry. Brenda McNeal, the kitchen manager at City Rescue Mission’s New Life Inn, shed some light on just how influential Second Harvest North Florida is on her operation. “The fate of our menu depends on the inexpensive food we can get from Second Harvest. You make it possible for this kitchen to be open seven days a week and the guests are just so grateful for it,” she said. Brenda’s guests are the homeless and hungry of downtown Jacksonville. Every day from 3 to 5 p.m., they line up for a plate of Brenda’s nutritious cooking, many depending on her kitchen for their only meal of the day. And every holiday season, City Rescue Mission takes on a larger endeavor - creating a joyous Christmas meal for those less fortunate.

Brenda is preparing to feed 1,000 people a traditional holiday meal this year. “Christmas dinner here is awesome,” Brenda said elatedly, as she listed off the menu of turkey, dressing, green beans, homemade macaroni & cheese, yams and, she hopes, sweet potato pie. Yet, this bountiful menu is not the only gift City Rescue Mission has to offer its guests this Christmas. “What makes this meal so special is the generosity of so many volunteers,” Brenda said. “For Christmas dinner our guests sit down at beautifully decorated tables and are served. It makes them feel like they are in a restaurant. Their excitement is written all over their faces. It’s just awesome.” “Awesome” is a recurring word Brenda uses to describe the events made possible in her kitchen thanks to Second Harvest. City Rescue Mission is just one of many partnerships that inspire us all year long to find and distribute the food they need to feed the hungry in our community.

Devoting one’s time Volunteerism is the practice of devoting one’s time or talents for a charitable, educational or community-based activity. On any given day of the week, this form of selfless giving is taking place at Second Harvest North Florida. Our loyal volunteers connect with one another through their desire to connect with the greater community. Volunteers are an essential and vital part of our operation. Without them, we could not provide the 17,000,000 meals we are on track to deliver in 2011. As the equivalent of 10 full time employees, volunteers perform an astounding 70% of the work required to sort and package the food we distribute. In 2010, we had our best volunteer year with 2,200 volunteers working 18,454 hours, and this year, we are on pace to beat that record. Individuals, families, local church groups and businesses of all sizes come to our warehouse throughout the week to help us do our job—bringing food to the struggling families of our community. These volunteers are not only valued supporters, they also are our most passionate advocates. For information on how you can volunteer to help end hunger in our community, visit our website at www.WeNourishHope.org and click on the How to Help tab.

E STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I TRY TO FEED MY KIDS FIRST AND ME LAST.” “I WORK WITH CLIENTS WHO DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT. THEY ARE CHILDREN AND MANY TIMES THEY CAN N NCENTRATE ON THEIR STUDIES, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOOD IN THE HOME.” “IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN [THAT WE HAVE TO USE THE FOOD BANK], ONLY WHEN WORK SLOWS DOW E DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO AVOID IT.” “WE STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET. I TRY TO FEED MY KIDS FIRST AND ME LAST.” “I WORK WITH CLIENTS WHO DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH FOOD TO EAT. THEY A ILDREN AND MANY TIMES THEY CAN NOT CONCENTRATE ON THEIR STUDIES, BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH FOOD IN THE HOME. “IT DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN [THAT WE HAVE TO USE THE FOO NK], ONLY WHEN WORK SLOWS DOWN. WE DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO AVOID IT.” “EVERY MONTH A CHURCH, AFFILIATED WITH YOU ALL, BRINGS ME PLENTY OF FOOD. I COULD NEVER SHOW HOW MUCH IT

FoodMatters_Nov2011  

But mostly what we heard was, “Thank you Second Harvest for this blessing!” Everywhere there were shouts of “Have a Happy Thanksgiving!” fro...

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