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A Message of Hope

Twenty-seven years ago, Central Florida resident, Mark Anthony, started Southeastern Food Bank (then known as Bread of Life Fellowship) out of his garage. The whole idea started with a truckload of donated snacks. 

In 1989, a man drove up to Anthony’s lawn and garden store with a truck full of Entenmann’s snacks and asked him if he could give them to people. He loaded up his own truck and gave them away, piece by piece, on the streets of Winter Garden. That experience planted the seed for Anthony’s vision of serving those in need, both in body and in spirit, and the faith-based nonprofit soon began to flourish. Two years ago, it expanded into North Florida and hopes for an expansion into South Florida by next year.

How Does it Work? 

In-kind donations are provided to Southeastern Food Bank locations through distributors, retailers and food drives. A group of volunteers then organizes the items, which are provided to nonprofit partners at no cost for individual distribution to disadvantaged families and individuals. 

The community comes together in two Florida locations — one in Ocoee and one in Quincy — to distribute over 2 million pounds of food to more than 75 nonprofits in 25 counties across the state through the food bank. This is all done for one purpose that comes directly from Mark 10:45, “ For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as ransom for many.”

How You Can Help

According to the Southeastern Food Bank website, approximately 3,227,600 Floridians are food insecure, including 833,000 seniors (one in seven) and 968,280 children (one in four under age 5). That is why their mission of “feeding the hungry and caring for those in need by sharing life’s necessities and a message of hope” is so important. 

“We want to inform, inspire and involve like-minded people that want to support us in some way, either by volunteering, praying for us on a regular basis and/or financially,” Anthony says.

On Sept. 21, Southeastern Food Bank’s annual fundraising dinner will be held at Wyndham Orlando Resort on International Drive. The evening will include a silent auction and a program about all of the milestones the organization has reached and continues to strive for in the coming years. Attendees will have the opportunity to pledge monetary donations and register to become a volunteer at future events.

With the generosity and support of the community, Southeastern Food Bank can continue to serve our neighbors in need.  

Event Details

What:Southeastern Food Bank’s Annual Fundraising Dinner

When: September 21 at 6 p.m.

Where: Wyndham Orlando Resort 

Address: 8001 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Attire:Semi-formal attire is recommended

Individual Tickets:Free with RSVP

Corporate Table of 8: $500 

Sponsorships are available! Contact Southeastern Food Bank at 407-654-777 to register. 

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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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