NEWS 13: NON-PROFIT FEEDS HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES ON CHRISTMAS EVE

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BY ERIC MOCK ORLANDO PUBLISHED 6:11 PM ET DEC. 24, 2021 ORLANDO, Fla. – With all the struggles the pandemic has brought to people here, some in Central Florida spent their Christmas Eve helping out those less fortunate. “It’s like a family affair, everyone here is like family to me,” said…

NEWS 13: NON-PROFIT FEEDS HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES ON CHRISTMAS EVE

BY ERIC MOCK ORLANDO

PUBLISHED 6:11 PM ET DEC. 24, 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. – With all the struggles the pandemic has brought to people here, some in Central Florida spent their Christmas Eve helping out those less fortunate.

“It’s like a family affair, everyone here is like family to me,” said nonprofit founder Shareece Mitchell.

She held their first Christmas Eve community feeding Friday.

With the help of family, friends, and an army of volunteers at New Life Church, they assembled full Christmas dinners. Complete with entrees donated from local restaurants like Outback and Longhorn steakhouse, and with barbecue from Jeremy Smith, owner of Bo’s Boys BBQ.

Smith spent hours Friday morning smoking and grilling meat to give to families at this event.

Families that Shareece’s non-profit Butterfly Lifestyle feeds on a weekly basis.

She says she felt called to do this when she learned of the need here in Pine Hills, and after working here for some time now, she knows many of these families personally.

“How are you feeling today? Pretty good today? Did you have chemo? Yesterday was chemo? And your daughter?” she asked one of the families who drove up.

Seeing what people are going through this holiday season, especially with the ongoing pandemic, she at least wanted to make sure no one in her community went without Christmas dinner this year.

“So it breaks my heart to see individuals like that who say we really can’t afford food, or we can’t, you know you hear their story and it just tugs at the heart, really,” she said.

And they didn’t stop till all 500 meal boxes were handed out.

“Everything must go! We’re not here to save anything, everything must go!” Shereece said.

News 13 Site Post

NEWS 6 FLORIDA FOODIE PODCAST: SHEREECE MITCHELL’S BODYBUILDING JOURNEY BECAME AN EFFORT TO FIGHT FOOD INSECURITY

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Shereece Mitchell transformed her life and her health and now, she wants to do the same for others.

In 2015, Mitchell was working in IT in South Florida when she began her journey, losing 100 pounds in the process. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that she started making the most changes in her life.

“(In) 2018 (is) when it got to its peak — where I decided I wanted to be a bodybuilder and I tried to transform my life and I got baptized, I became a Christian,” Mitchel said. “I realized that I felt like there’s something more — because before I used to feel like there’s something missing in life.”

The next year, she moved to Orlando, selling her house and quitting her job in the process. Beyond that, she decided to start a nonprofit, Butterfly Lifestyle.

The nonprofit is focused on promoting health and wellness, encouraging people to change their lifestyles rather than just their diets.

“If you take it as a diet versus a lifestyle, you feel like if you eat something that you shouldn’t on this diet, that you cheated — and now you feel like you messed up,” she said. “But if you treat it as a lifestyle you can say, ‘You know what, I can eat something that’s not part of my everyday diet, but because it’s a lifestyle — that means my next meal, I can fix it. Tomorrow, I can fix it.

However, Mitchell was still very focused on bodybuilding in the early stages days of Butterfly Lifestyle.

“Then I got injured within like three months, an ankle injury,” she said. “In my back of my mind, I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to get back on stage, I’m going get back on stage (as a bodybuilder),’ but the ankle injury became one of the biggest blessings ever because it allowed me to really focus on the nonprofit and to really hone in on what I want to do to help the community.”

All this was happening in 2019. When 2020 hit a new challenge arose — the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic laid bare how big of a problem food insecurity is in Central Florida and across the country. Mitchell realized, she could not encourage people to live a healthier lifestyle if their basic necessities are not being met.

“I don’t feel comfortable telling you, ‘You know what? You should eat healthier. You’re diabetic, eat healthier,’ and you don’t have something to eat. You can’t even afford a simple meal,” she said. “It’s very hard to tell someone to do something or to encourage them to even attempt to be living a healthier lifestyle when there’s nothing for them to eat.”

Mitchell started working with a church in Pine Hills to start a weekly food bank. She sources the food from area businesses, such as Wawa, Outback Steakhouse, and Publix.

The help has been greatly appreciated by the community.

“I don’t realize the impact I have on people at times. It’s when they stop and they say, ‘Hey, thank you so much,” Mitchell said. “We can see has over 100 cars depending on how much food we have…. which total out to about 250 people.”

On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Mitchell shares more of her own health story as well as her plans for the future of Butterfly Lifestyle.

NEWS 6 FLORIDA FOODIE PODCAST: SHEREECE MITCHELL’S BODYBUILDING JOURNEY BECAME AN EFFORT TO FIGHT FOOD INSECURITY

Butterfly Lifestyle has run weekly food drives in Pine Hills throughout the pandemic Thomas Mates, Digital storyteller Published: November 2, 2021, 6:30 AM ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Shereece Mitchell transformed her life and her…
Read More

NEWS 6 FLORIDA FOODIE PODCAST: SHEREECE MITCHELL’S BODYBUILDING JOURNEY BECAME AN EFFORT TO FIGHT FOOD INSECURITY

Butterfly Lifestyle has run weekly food drives in Pine Hills throughout the pandemic Thomas Mates, Digital storyteller Published: November 2, 2021, 6:30 AM ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Shereece Mitchell transformed her life and her…
Read More

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