• Central Florida food bank sees spike in necessity amid government shutdown

    By: Kelly Healey , Sarahbeth Ackerman


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida officials said they have seen a spike in necessity from families and individuals seeking food amid the government shutdown.


    Food bank officials said they need volunteers to work in the warehouse, and to help load trucks with food that will be distributed to pantries throughout Central Florida.


    Second Harvest said they are treating the situation as a disaster.


    “Boxes and boxes of food are in this warehouse ready to be picked up for those who truly need it in Central Florida,” Greg Higgerson with Second Harvest Food Bank said.


    Food bank officials said staff and volunteers are always busy packing meals and moving heavy boxes of food to other food pantries.


    How to help: Where to volunteer


    However, within the last two weeks, the calls for food assistance is spiking, and they said it’s from those who normally don't ask for help.


    "Having to make those choices: ‘Do I pay the rent or mortgage, or do we get food?’" Higgerson said.

    Higgerson said their team at the food bank can track in real time when people are searching for food assistance on their website. He said the latest uptick is a direct result of the government shutdown.


    More: Government shutdown details


    “We have seen more than doubling of the hits on the food assistance tracker, just in the past week," he said.


    Food bank officials said they are seeing the need throughout Central Florida.


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