Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida announced the expansion of its School Partnerships Program through a $115,150 grant provided by Aetna, a CVS health company, that will provide food assistance to students across Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties.
The funding will help elementary, middle, high school and post-secondary institutions stock their markets and emergency pantries with nonperishable food items throughout the 2023-2024 academic year. Currently, 65 schools across Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties participate in Second Harvest’s program, which is designed to give students and families access to the nutrition they need after school and on weekends.
“We continue to see more and more families – many for the first time – having to make difficult household budget decisions due to higher costs of necessities,” said Derrick Chubbs, President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “This latest grant from Aetna will help us continue to support student-centered and stigma-reducing access to nutritious food for students and their families.”
Aetna Better Health of Florida publicly celebrated this event at Evan’s High School, Florida’s first Community Partnership School. The partnership among Children’s Home Society of Florida, Orange Blossom Family Health, Orange County Public Schools and the University of Central Florida, focuses on removing tough barriers to learning by bringing together high-quality academics, health care, counseling, support, mentoring and more— right on-site at the school.
“We’re committed to helping people in under-resourced communities achieve their best health and know that improving health starts with good nutrition,” Aetna Better Health of Florida CEO Jennifer Sweet added. “Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is doing great work providing healthy and safe food to students and, through this collaboration, we’re working together to support the health of our communities.”
Aetna joined Second Harvest at Evans High School in Orlando to showcase how the School Partnerships Program works.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes enough food for 300,000 meals a day – but despite that fact, one in five local children is still at risk of going to bed hungry on any given night.
For more information about how to support local hunger relief efforts, or to find the nearest food partner, visit Second Harvest.