Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Second Harvest Volunteers

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Mindy Ortiz organizes volunteers for Second Harvest Food Bank. I arranged to go in April 18th to sketch volunteers at work. Volunteers work around two shifts one from 8:30AM-11:30AM  and then 1PM-4PM. I got up with the early birds to get my sketch. We all waited in a large break room  whose walls had a brightly painted mural  of Jack and the Bean Stalk Vegetables painted by Disney artists.

Five adolescent boys sat at one table with a young woman who I assumed must be their teacher. There were two other volunteers seated at different tables. I asked the young woman what she was going to be doing and she explained that she would be sorting food in the refrigerated room. CEO Dave Krepcho took me into that huge refrigerated room on a walking tour of the state of the art facility. Some of the food in there had started to spoil but much of it was quite edible so the spoiled food had to be separated out. I didn't have a sweatshirt or sweater that day and I got quite cold fast. When we exited, my glasses immediately fogged up. Dave had put his glasses in his pocket to keep them warm.

When it was time to get to work, the young men were shown huge pallets of cabbages that had to be put into red mesh bags 3/4 full. Those mesh bags were then put into a cardboard box on another palette. Everyone wore medical gloves. It took well over an hour to get all that produce bagged. When they finished up, I finished the sketch. Feeding the hungry takes many hands. The organization's name, Second Harvest, made perfect sense watching these boys at work. Should you decide you want to help out, be sure to contact Mindy.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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