|Two local donors pledge to make September food drive a huge success
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Aug. 21, 2013) – Grand Challenge organizers are pleased to announce that Mosaic Company Foundation and Manatee Community Foundation are offering significant financial support. The Mosaic Company Foundation will match community contributions to The Food Bank of Manatee, dollar for dollar and dollar per pound of donated food, up to $100,000 throughout September.
The Manatee Community Foundation will contribute $30,000, which will be doubled as a result of the Mosaic Company Foundation match. For every dollar or pound of food the community contributes during September, the Mosaic Company Foundation will match it up to $70,000. The Grand Challenge asks local businesses, clubs and civic organizations to each raise 1,000 pounds of food, $1,000 in cash or a combination of the two throughout September.
Local officials today crowded a small office at the Food Bank during a 9 a.m. press conference to ask groups throughout the community to help. Leading the way were Manatee County Commissioners Carol Whitmore and Vanessa Baugh; Manatee County Schools Superintendent Rick Mills and School Board member Julie Aranibar; Meals on Wheels PLUS CEO Maribeth Phillips and Food Bank Director Cindy Sloan; Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Marilyn Howard; and Mosaic Company Public Affairs Manager Jackie Barron.
Last year nearly 150 local groups collected close to 70,000 pounds of food and more than $55,000 in the Grand Challenge to help the Food Bank feed local families. Community leaders today asked even more local groups to do the same, with an emphasis on food and supplies for infants.
“Our shelves are very bare right now,” Phillips said. “High need this summer has taken its toll again. We are so grateful to all those involved today for taking the lead and issuing the Grand Challenge for a second year.”
“The Mosaic Company Foundation considers it an honor to support the hard work of Meals on Wheels PLUS and the Manatee Food Bank,” said Gary N. “Bo” Davis, Mosaic senior vice president-phosphate operations and a member of the Foundation board. “Mosaic’s mission is to help the world grow the food it needs, and offering our resources to help provide food to local families in need is a natural fit. We hope this challenge inspires others to contribute in some way—with dollars we’ll match, or by putting a collection barrel at their business or launching a food drive with colleagues and friends.”
Anyone interested can obtain a Food Bank food collection barrel by calling (941) 747-FOOD. Food Drive Kits can also be found on the Food Bank’s website. Throughout September a participating group can simply call the Food Bank to retrieve food from full collection barrels.
Food Bank officials use the cash donations to buy food, sometimes as low as 9 cents per pound, so more than 100,000 pounds of food was distributed as a result of last year’s Grand Challenge.
(Attached is a photo of community leaders participating in the 2013 Grand Challenge. From left: Manatee Schools superintendent Rick Mills, Meals on Wheels PLUS board member Summer Smith, Meals on Wheels PLUS board member Will Robinson, Meals on Wheels PLUS CEO Maribeth Phillips, Mosaic Company Public Affairs Manager Jackie Barron, Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh, Manatee School Board member Julie Aranibar, Manatee Community Foundation Executive Director Marilyn Howard, Manatee Food Bank Director Cindy Sloan and Meals on Wheels PLUS board member Terry Wells.)