A favorite childhood memory is the treat of having a PBJ and a tall glass of milk. When I visited my grandparents that delicious combo was often accompanied by a couple cream-filled chocolate cookies and an orange (we’re Florida natives, so we had oranges with just about everything!). As grocers, my grandparents never lacked in fresh healthy foods when I visited, or eventually came to live with them. That wasn’t the case when I lived in Orlando with my mom.
After my father died, my mother had a hard time getting back on her feet. My half brother and I spent many a day riding our bikes on the roads around Colonial Avenue while my mom tried to work things out. We climbed the tree on the empty lot down the street with the neighborhood children, and the “big kids” often ran ahead on the bumpy brick-paved roads while the scrawny toothpick-legged ones like me did our best to catch up! We knew we went hungry sometimes, but like most kids in that situation we weren’t convinced we were poor. It was “just the way it was”, though if a friend offered a snack or a meal while visiting their house… well, you didn’t have to ask us twice!
Today there is a new generation of children in Orlando and throughout Florida who don’t have the “luxury” of fixing up a quick sandwich whenever they please. Perhaps they’re like we were who often settled for a “jam sandwich” (where you take two pieces of bread and “jam them” together) and no milk most days, but water. We were not alone. Today, 1 in 5 Central Floridians are struggling with hunger each day.
Second Harvest Food Bank is one of the stop-gaps for families like mine. Through their distribution of food in to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties, people who want just a little help to get by are given the food they need for themselves and their children.
This year, FlBlogCon has partnered with the Florida Dairy Farmers to spread word about the Great American Milk Drive, to help raise awareness and funds for the single most requested food staple: milk.
Our family has already made a donation so other families and individuals who request milk can receive it. Here’s my challenge: If you have no problem purchasing a gallon of milk or more each week, I hope you’ll consider “virtually” picking up a couple extra for your neighbors. It “does a body good” to drink it, and it does a heart good, too, to share a tall glass with others, if only online. No way to give? No problem. Blog, share, or post to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest (or wherever!) using the hashtags #FLblogging4good and #floridamilk to spread the word with your friends and family. Who knows… some FaceBook friend might not be posting on their wall that they could use help from Second Harvest and the Great American Milk Drive.