Gatorland hosting Christmas food drive

Gatorland is hosting its 33rd Annual Share Your Christmas Food Drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank Thursday, Dec. 6, between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The public is invited to stop by to drop off their food donations while WESH 2 TV news anchors broadcast live on location until Gatorland makes its big check presentation to Second Harvest Food Bank live during the noon newscast.

Guests to Gatorland can begin dropping off their food donations at the park any day through Dec. 6, if they are unable to do so that day.  Those bringing a food donation to Gatorland will receive one entry into a drawing for a VIP Tour of Gatorland for four people featuring the Screamin’ Gator Zipline, the Stompin’ Gator Off-road Adventure, an adventure hour experience, tortoise feeding and an exclusive up close and personal visit with a White Alligator, plus much more.  For more details, visit: www.gatorland.com/specials/SYC.

Since 2014, Gatorland has collected more than 15,000 pounds of food and donated more than $32,500 to the Second Harvest Food Bank.  The theme park is also partnering with three local schools, including Narcoossee Middle School, Sunchild Academy and Tohopekaliga High School, for their students, families and teachers to collect donations.  For more information on the best items to donate, visit: https://www.wesh.com/article/share-your-christmas-2017/5820957

"We are excited to be working with WESH 2 for our fifth year in a row," said Mark McHugh, president and CEO of Gatorland.  "Our commitment to giving back to the community continues to be very important to us."

The food drive provides food and basic-needs items to more than 500 grass roots organizations in Central Florida.  Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed 50 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes.  For every $10 contributed, up to $90 worth of groceries can be provided for struggling families, seniors, kids, veterans and others. Florida has one of the highest rates of food insecure children in the U.S.  For more information on helping, go to www.feedhopenow.org.

For more Gatorland information, www.gatorland.com or call 800-393-JAWS; Facebook at www.facebook.com/gatorland; on Twitter @gatorland.com; and on Instagram: gatorland_orlando https://www.instagram.com/gatorland_orlando.