• Second Harvest Food Bank breaks ground on new facility


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The Second Harvest Food Bank broke ground on a new facility Wednesday.

    Hundreds of people attended the ceremony at the new distribution center site on Old Winter Garden Road and Mercy Drive in Orlando.          

    In previous years, the charity said it has had to turn food away because they didn't have enough room for it.

    "We just don't have the space, we don't have the refrigerators, we do not have the coolers that are adequate to accept all of it," said Greg Higgerson of Second Harvest.

    However, with the new facility, having too much food will not be a problem. The current facility holds a million pounds of food, enough to feed more than 650,000 families. The new building will be three times the size of the current distribution center.

    The old warehouse was torn down to make way for the new facility.

    The charity said the building will have enough space to provide an extra one million meals each year.

    Richard Altieri is one those who receive food daily from a Second Harvest Food Bank partner charity. He was excited to learn about the new facility.

    "It's a blessing to me that they have service out there, and they do a great job doing that, you know," said Altieri.

    Currently, more than 7,500 people are helped every day because of Second Harvest, and nearly half of them are children.

    A lot of the food comes from major companies such as Sara Lee, and other items come from individual local donations.

    Second Harvest then brings the donations to its 550 partner charities.

    WFTV found out there are nearly one dozen other organizations that are on a waiting list because the demand for food in Central Florida is very high.

    The project will cost the charity $15 million. Altieri said, he thinks it will be well worth the money.

    "There are some people out there starving. You see them holding the signs. We need food and we have it," said Altieri.

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