SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – While Goodwill Manasota is well known for accepting donations of gently-used items from the community and selling those goods in its retail stores – with revenues funding its mission of changing lives through the power of work – it’s not just items like clothing, home goods, books, sporting goods and electronics being accepted. For many years, Goodwill has placed food barrels at all donor doors at its stores as well as at its attended donation centers in Sarasota and Manatee counties; the beneficiaries are The Food Bank of Manatee, owned and operated by Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee, and All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota.
In 2018, Goodwill collected 75,083 pounds of food for All Faiths Food Bank and 40,156 pounds for The Food Bank of Manatee County, a total of 115,239 pounds – 57,620 tons, or approximately 96,000 meals – for those who are hungry. Each year, the food collection totals have grown larger as community members have realized they could drop off goods and food in one convenient stop. Goodwill Manasota collected 106,000 pounds of food in 2017 and 103,000 pounds in 2016. The food collection has grown over the course of many years into a significant annual effort.
“While our mission tends to focus on the career services side of social services, we felt compelled to assist when we learned just how prevalent hunger is in our communities,” said Donna Evans, Goodwill Manasota’s director of donation development. “We have numerous locations that are convenient and fully staffed – it is easy and incredibly fulfilling for us to partner with our area food banks to help fight the scourge of hunger.”
The Food Bank of Manatee provides nutritional assistance and caring supportive services to individuals in need throughout Manatee County by distributing food to nonprofit agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, and churches. In 2018, Meals on Wheels PLUS distributed 201,000 nutritious hot meals and dinners to approximately 750 home-bound seniors, distributed 4.1 million pounds of food through The Food Bank of Manatee, and 110,000 weekend meals to children in need over the summer months when school is out of session.
Together with its partners, All Faiths Food Bank provides healthy solutions to end hunger in our community. All Faiths Food Bank, the hub of hunger relief in Sarasota and DeSoto counties, serves more than 82,000 individuals in need through its programs and member network that includes human services organizations, schools, faith-based and secular organizations, and other groups that serve the community. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 10.5 million pounds of food equating to 8.75 million meals to children, families, seniors and veterans in need.
“We truly value our partnership with Goodwill Manasota and its dedication to hunger relief on the Suncoast,” said Maribeth Phillips, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee. “Goodwill has many convenient locations to make critically needed non-perishable food donations. The Food Bank of Manatee ensures all of those food donations are promptly circulated throughout Manatee County for those in need.”
“We appreciate our partnership with Goodwill very much,” added John Livingston, chief of operations at All Faiths Food Bank. “Having our bins in Goodwill locations throughout Sarasota provides a convenient way for people to donate food and allows us to be more efficient with our food collections.”
The organizations plan to continue the food collections at Goodwill locations. For more about Goodwill, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.
Contact The Food Bank of Manatee
For information on how to donate or volunteer, visit www.foodbankofmanatee.org or call Volunteer Services at 941-747-3663.
Contact All Faiths Food Bank
For more information, call 941-379-6333 or visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.