Efforts to combat hunger in the community received a nearly $26,000 boost with an oversized check that was presented to the Second Harvest Food Bank during Tuesday’s Volusia County Council meeting.
None of the money came from tax dollars. The source was two annual events, a charitable fund drive organized by the County and other local governments in Volusia and the County’s annual state of the county banquet. Funds from both events were combined into a single, oversized check for $25,776.15 that was presented Tuesday morning to Second Harvest. Second Harvest partners with more than 80 local agencies in Volusia County to deliver hunger relief aid to the community. Thanks to the power of bulk buying, Second Harvest is able to convert every dollar donated into $9 worth of food. And with every $10 able to fund 40 meals, Tuesday’s donation will help provide more than 104,000 meals to the needy.
“The Second Harvest Food Bank is a tremendous organization,” Volusia County Community Information Director Kevin Captain told County members. “They collect, store and distribute to 86 partner agencies right here in Volusia County.”
This year’s public employee food fund drive was held between March 21-April 1, generating $15,776.15 in donations. Participating agencies included the County of Volusia, the Volusia County Tax Collector’s Office and 10 local city governments – Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach Shores, Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, Orange City, Ormond Beach, Pierson, Ponce Inlet, Port Orange and South Daytona. Called Feed The Need, the County has been organizing the fundraiser since 2012.
Traditionally, the fundraiser has spurred a friendly competition among participating agencies to make it a fun event for a serious cause. This year’s fundraising winners were announced Tuesday in four different categories.
The most money collected by a County operating division was Fire Rescue ($2,320) and the most money collected by a municipal government was Ormond Beach ($700). This year’s awards for the most money donated per-capita, based on the number of employees in each County division or municipal government, went to Volusia County Treasury and Billing and the Town of Pierson.
Volusia County’s state of the county is an annual event hosted by the County Chair and Council that highlights the County’s goals, objectives and accomplishments. The cost to put on the event is underwritten by corporate sponsors. Seventeen local businesses sponsored this year’s event, which was held at the Ocean Center on Feb. 8. After all of the event bills were paid, the County Council voted on May 3 to donate $10,000 of the surplus donor funds to Second Harvest.
Stephanie Marie Palacious, director of advocacy and government relations, expressed Second Harvest’s appreciation for the financial support.
“Second Harvest Food Bank can’t do the work that we do without generous donors like county employees or community partners like you all,” said Palacious, who was on hand Tuesday to receive the check. “Thank you so much for thinking of Second Harvest and the people that we serve.”
— Volusia County Community Information Gary Davidson