Sarasota, FL (April 9, 2020) – Four Sarasota nonprofit organizations are partnering to provide food to children and their families while schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Staff teams from Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Children First and Girls Inc. of Sarasota County are packing hundreds of bags of food provided by All Faiths Food Bank. Each organization is hosting the food distribution at their respective sites. Participation is restricted and proof of club membership is required.
“It will take this kind of collaboration to feed children while schools are closed,” said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths Food Bank. “We are thankful to our partners for this innovative collaboration.”
Families in immediate need can also pick up food at one of the Food Bank’s mobile pantry locations and partner agency distributions. Locations and times can be found at www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.
“We’re thrilled to expand our longstanding partnerships with All Faiths Food Bank, Girls Inc. and Children First to provide thousands of our community’s youth and their families with staple grocery items during this unprecedented time,” said Bill Sadlo, President/CEO at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. “This collaborative effort has enabled us to enhance our virtual programmatic efforts, too. Our Culinary Arts program is designing delicious recipes for those we serve – using the food items included in each of the distribution bags – on our social media platforms including Facebook.com/BGCSC.”
The organizations are seeing great success with this distribution method due to the relationship between their staff and the families. “Once this situation began, our families turned to Girls Inc. for support and we are so thankful to be able to provide them with food during this difficult time. Without this partnership, many of our girls would not have access to the nutrition they need,” said Angie Stringer, President and CEO of Girls Inc.
“Children First is honored to be a proud partner as we collectively make sure the most vulnerable children and families in our community have food to eat,” said Philip Tavill, CEO of Children First. “Our families, particularly those facing so many challenges during this pandemic crisis, need to be assured of access to nutritious food as they deal with job loss and many other issues. By our joining together, they can count on us.”
About All Faiths Food Bank
All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator and a member of Feeding America, we provide millions of meals each year through robust programs and partnerships with charitable organizations in the community. In addition to food distribution, All Faiths Food Bank operates a roster of innovative direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger but strive to end hunger by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, better health outcomes and self-sufficiency. For more information visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County has been a leading youth-serving organization in Sarasota County and its surrounding area since 1970, and provides enriching after-school and summer programs to thousands of youth, ages 6 to 18, in Sarasota, Venice, North Port and Arcadia. The organization’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need services the most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. The programs are designed to empower youth to excel in school, become leaders, adopt healthy habits and create plans for success after high school graduation. For more information, visit bgcsarasota.com or call 941-366-3911.
About Children First
Founded in 1961 and ranked in the top 1% out of over 1,800 Head Start programs nationwide, Children First strengthens children and families by improving the quality of their lives through a comprehensive approach to development, education, health, and well-being. At 15 sites throughout Sarasota County, Children First offers full-day preschool, infant and toddler care, and nutrition and health care assistance to children ages birth to five years old from low-income families. Through Children First, the children receive the social and cognitive skills needed to enter kindergarten and elementary school on track. For more information, call (941) 953-3877 or go to childrenfirst.net
About Girls Inc.
Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Our comprehensive approach to whole girl development equips girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. These positive outcomes are achieved through three core elements: people – trained staff and volunteers who build lasting, mentoring relationships; environment – girls-only, physically and emotionally safe, where there is a sisterhood of support, high expectations, and mutual respect; and programming – research-based, hands-on and minds-on, age-appropriate, meeting the needs of today’s girls. Informed by girls and their families, we also advocate for legislation and policies to increase opportunities for all girls. Join us at girlsincsrq.org.