valencia’s learning day – personal perspective

Each year, all of Valencia’s campuses close for faculty and staff Learning Day. This year’s event was on Friday and we had the opportunity to do something really special.

We were given the opportunity to give back to the community. Every member of Valencia’s faculty/staff chose from a variety of options from organizations around Central Florida. One could read to children, help plant a garden, work to fight hunger, interact with seniors – and many more options.

I volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. About 20 of us from Valencia showed up Friday morning at their warehouse location on Mercy Drive. I helped out in the office for a bit, assisting with an event mailing, and then headed out to the warehouse to help sort food. Donated goods come to the warehouse on pallets. Everything is examined and then sorted into categories. Even though there was no direct client contact, it was easy to visualize these goods making it to the tables and pantries of those who need assistance.

After our morning of service, we all convened at Valencia’s West campus for lunch, music and a celebration for winning the Aspen Prize and our continued good work!

About Second Harvest:
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.

Their vision is a hunger-free Central Florida and their mission is to fight hunger in Central Florida. On their Web site, they list four guiding principles:

  • Providing access to food and other grocery products to meet the need;
  • Promoting and supporting the development of our partner agencies’ ability to fulfill their missions;
  • Mobilizing leaders and communities by bringing visibility to the invisible problem of hunger and poverty;
  • Developing more holistic and county-specific solutions to hunger in Central Florida.

For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, please visit

They also have a blog at


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