Sarasota – May 16, 2014– All Faiths Food Bank’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger surpassed all expectations to raise an unprecedented $1.1 million in funds and 766,253 pounds of food to feed children and families this summer. The Campaign began on April 1, 2014 and culminated on May 10.
21,000 Sarasota County students (50%) receive free and reduced meals. During the summer, when school is out, children are more likely to experience hunger than any other time of the year. All Faiths Food Bank, with support from Gulf Coast Community Foundation and The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, launched the grand-scale campaign to encourage Sarasota residents to “empty their shelves” and make a cash gift so no child in our community goes hungry this summer.
Private investors contributed a $500,000 challenge match prior to the April 1st kick off. The community donated more than $600,000 to exceed the match. Individuals, local business owners, corporate sponsors, government officials and community leaders came together to support the Campaign through food and fund drives, promotional efforts, and sharing information through social media.
“This summer we will be able to feed children and their families during the time of year when they need us the most.” said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths Food Bank. “We are so grateful to Gulf Coast Community Foundation for its unwavering support, and to our community for again reminding us that we are surrounded by people who care deeply about our less fortunate neighbors.”
“Children needed our help and now we have the resources to make sure they have hot meals and fresh fruit and vegetables this summer,” said Keith Monda, retired President and COO of Coach Inc. and All Faiths Board member. “We’ll be asking for the community’s support in getting the word out to families that food is available throughout the summer because of the new and enhanced programs we’ve established.”
The HuB was enlisted to manage the official campaign site, SkipALunch.org, and help engage the community via social media. More than 150 businesses and organizations signed up on the website as community partners, contributing to the Campaign through activities of their choice. Sarasota County Fire Stations and Goodwill along with the Sarasota Herald Tribune and The HuB were “drop-off” sites for nonperishable food.
Media support was outstanding throughout the Campaign with editorials, sponsored ads and front page updates provided by the Longboat and Sarasota Observers, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and the publications of the Sun Media Group. In addition, a massive food drive was hosted and publicized by all five Clear Channel stations. The hard-working team at 360 Degrees PR donated countless hours to promote the Campaign, and combined, their efforts helped maintain public focus on a single goal – feeding kids this summer.
The Campaign Against Summer Hunger may have ended, but the community can still support summer programs by conducting food drives and making donations. Nonperishable food can be dropped off at any Sarasota County Goodwill store, and donations can be made online at www.allfaithsfoodbank.org. To keep informed about summer hunger programs, and learn more about All Faiths Food Bank in the community, follow All Faiths on Facebook and Twitter.
Courtesy Photo: Hyatt Regency Sarasota exemplifies a community united against hunger.
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank, recently awarded a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, is a member of Feeding America and the hub of the hunger-relief system in DeSoto and Sarasota counties. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 7 million pounds of food equating to 5.8 million meals through 195 pantries, soup kitchens, churches, community centers, schools, and programs. Its mission is to feed those in need and educate the community about hunger and nutrition. For more information or to volunteer, call 941-379-6333 or visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.