ORLANDO, FL--(Marketwire - Sep 23, 2012) - The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association is joining forces with Meals of Hope to build 100,000 meals for local families in need. This 2nd annual food packing event will take place today from 2:00pm - 4:00pm at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. This charity team challenge will gather teams of 8-10 people for a race against the clock to build as many meals as possible.
Last year, more than 40,000 meals were packed by FRLA volunteers -- a number they hope to more than double in 2012. Gold sponsors of this community outreach program are United Healthcare and Miller's Ale House Restaurant.
"We are thrilled to be involved in this effort and have this event take place in the exhibit hall of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show," said Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President for Reed Exhibitions' Foodservice Events. "The restaurant and foodservice industry plays a huge role in giving back to the communities they serve and 100,000 meals is a worthy goal to help those in need. We are excited to play a role in this worthwhile endeavor."
"We invite the industry to join us in taking this challenge that we made last year to pack 100,000 meals for those in need," said Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. "To know that 828,000 children in Florida are food insecure is a staggering statistic and we will gather as one community to help the children and their families."
"Fighting hunger in our communities is just one way we can help people live healthier lives throughout Florida," said David Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual of Florida. "We are proud to sponsor an event that not only sparks the spirit of volunteerism in our communities but also helps thousands of local families in need."
UnitedHealthcare and the Orlando Magic will provide all participants with a complimentary ticket to attend an Orlando Magic home game and a winning team will receive a hospitality suite to an upcoming game. Magic Community Ambassador Nick Anderson will also be on site during the event.
"I am elated that my peers in the hospitality industry have decided to raise the bar and more than double last year's total of packaged meals," said Dave Reid, Executive Vice President of Operations for Miller's Ale House Restaurants. "Not only does this event benefit the Central Florida Community, but packaging the meals for area families has to be one of the most fulfilling events I have ever worked."
The 2012 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is produced by Reed Exhibitions, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (www.frla.org), a partner of the National Restaurant Association. For information, visit www.flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com.