- December 3, 2021
Walt Disney World is celebrating its 50th anniversary by giving back to the community.
Disney recently awarded a total of $3 million in grants to six Central Florida non-profits.
The six non-profits that received donations included Give Kids The World Village, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Heart of Florida United Way, Hope Partnership and ELEVATE Orlando.
"Our Central Florida family has played such an important role for us since Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971," said Rena Langley, Senior Vice President for Walt Disney World Communications and Public Affairs. "It’s where our cast members live, go to school, raise their families and thrive. For decades, we have remained inspired by the local nonprofits and magic makers in our community who make a difference for so many – giving back to these organizations is a proud tradition we are committed to continuing into the future."
Greg Higgerson, Chief Development Officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, said the food bank and Walt Disney World have worked together for more than 30 years to help provide food for people in need across Central Florida. Disney provides help to Second Harvest's mission in all of the three main areas including food donations, financial donations and volunteers.
"The grant of $500,000 provided to Second Harvest Food Bank as part of the 50th Anniversary celebration will literally change lives," Higgerson said. "By helping to provide more than 2 million meals, $9 million worth of food, Walt Disney World is helping to solve the daily crisis of hunger that threatens tens of thousands of our neighbors."
As part of the two organizations partnership, the volunteer experience and work areas at Second Harvest Food Bank’s main distribution center in Orlando is branded with Walt Disney World characters and other décor. The facility is one of very few off-site locations that has Disney’s permission to display these images.
Second Harvest also works with Disney on the “Disney Harvest” prepared and perishable food recovery program from Disney theme parks and hotels.
Disney's 50th anniversary celebration will run for a total of 18 months.