Second Harvest of the Big Bend Receives $2,000 Donation from the Darden Foundation to Help End Hunger

Second Harvest of the Big Bend food bank announced today a $2,000 grant from The Darden Foundation to help provide hunger relief to Big Bend families.


According to Feeding America’s “2019 Map the Meal Gap,” before the COVID-19 crisis reached Leon County, more than 56,310 people, including 10,460 children, lived in a food- insecure household. With May unemployment rising to 14.5% statewide, and 8.8% in Leon County (three times the May 2019 rate of 2.9%) the need for food has increased substantially. Today, more than 68,000 (27.5%) people in Leon County are food insecure, including 16,000 (30%) children.


“With almost 30% of Leon County citizens facing food insecurity, it’s critical that Second Harvest can continue providing essential, nutritious food for our neighbors in need,” said Monique Ellsworth, Second Harvest CEO. “We are grateful for the Darden Foundation’s recognition of the essential work Second Harvest is doing to help people in our community at this unprecedented time.”

Second Harvest, a member of the Feeding America® network, is one of 192 food banks to receive this funding from The Darden Foundation. It is projected that this grant will enable Second Harvest to fund several initiatives, including COVID-19 response.


The Darden Foundation is committed to supporting families facing food insecurity in communities across the United States. Their commitment to help is demonstrated through their partnership with Feeding America and their network of 200 food banks across the nation.


Feeding America has worked alongside The Darden Foundation for eight years in the fight to end hunger. Thanks to their ongoing support, the Feeding America network has been able to help provide even more meals to families in need.

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About Second Harvest

One in nine people face hunger in America – including more than 97,000 of our Big Bend neighbors. Second Harvest has increased food distribution by 84% during the past 3 years, but of Florida’s top five hungriest counties, four are in our service area. Take action to fight hunger in your community!  Visit for information.


About Darden Restaurants and The Darden Foundation

Darden is a restaurant company featuring a portfolio of differentiated brands that include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s. The Darden Foundation works to bring to life our spirit of service through its philanthropic support of charitable organizations across the country. Since 1995, The Darden Foundation has awarded more than $90 million in grants to non-profit organizations such as Feeding America, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and American Red Cross. For more information, please visit