Wawa awards $1 million grant to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida

The two organizations are partnering for a pilot program "Fly Beyond," which is set to reach more than 53,000 households over a 12-month period.

Photo courtesy Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
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Two major organizations are partnering to help those in need in the Central Florida area. 

Wawa and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida are making sure children are less at risk of going to sleep hungry through two of the food bank’s childhood hunger prevention initiatives: the School Partnerships and Summer Food Service programs.

The two are forming a pilot program, "Fly Beyond," set to reach more than 53,000 households over a 12-month period. 

Robert Yeatts, senior director of Florida operations for Wawa, said fueling up takes on a whole new meaning with Fly Beyond.

"We hope this new pilot program inspires goodness by making fresh, healthy foods conveniently available to families to create nutritious meals at home without worrying about how to afford it," he said. "Having greater access to fresh produce will improve the ability of kids in our communities to learn, lead and succeed.”

Wawa has started the initiative by awarding Second Harvest with a $1 million grant. 

The funding will not only allow Second Harvest the ability to purchase and distribute more fresh produce, but also add 10 new Fresh Market sites at local schools. 

Other benefits include transforming the Kids Pack initiative into a Family Weekend Meal Bag that will contain nutritious foods equal to 10 meals per household, enhancing the Summer Food Service Program with a take home bag filled with fresh produce and other pantry staples each week, providing reusable and insulated tote bags for both programs, and adding customized display carts at 35 Fresh Market schools.

“Through this first-of-its-kind investment, Wawa is ensuring children in Central Florida have access to the nutritious wholesome food they need to thrive,” Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO of Second Harvest, said. “Inflation is causing more families to make difficult decisions about what they can afford, and this partnership can help lessen worries about food costs.”

Wawa and Second Harvest intend to use the pilot program and its results as a road map for collaborations with other food banks or for others to implement similar programs.

For more information on the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, click here.



Annabelle Sikes

News Editor Annabelle Sikes was born in Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 2018 to attend the University of Central Florida. She graduated from UCF in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in sociology. Her past journalism experiences include serving as a web producer at the Orlando Sentinel, a reporter at The Community Paper, managing editor for NSM Today, digital manager at Centric Magazine and as an intern for the Orlando Weekly.

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