SARASOTA, FL (August 4, 2020) – Hunger has been an ongoing problem in our region for many years but COVID-19 has exacerbated the need in our community, leaving many families with uncertain futures.
In response to a significant increase in need due to the economic impacts of the coronavirus, a $500,000 match has been provided from the Joe and Mary Kay Henson Family Fund. An anonymous donor from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County was inspired to give an additional $100,000, increasing the total to $600,000. The match became available starting August 1; All Faiths is now launching a major fundraising and social media effort to raise awareness of the need and promote the match.
“We are a family fund devoted to supporting the needs of children and adults living in poverty. The currently unemployed are a vital part of our community and key to our economic well-being,” said Joe and Mary Kay Henson. “This virus is not going away any time soon … and what All Faiths Food Bank is doing is tremendously vital for these families and children. The entire community has to rally around to support and protect families during the ongoing crisis.”
This opportunity comes at a pivotal time. The coronavirus has resulted in business closures, reduced hours or lost jobs, and greater uncertainty about when our region might return to any sort of normalcy. Since the pandemic ramped up in March, All Faiths has seen an overall increase in need of approximately 120%, with new clients increasing nearly 45%. The demand for food will remain critically high for a long time to come as people continue to face significant financial strain.
“In order for those most affected by the crisis to have hope for rebuilding their lives, their basic need for food must be met,” said All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank. “Hunger relief is essential to our community’s resiliency and eventual restoration in the midst of this pandemic. We are so grateful to Mary Kay and Joe and our anonymous friend for stepping up and offering such generous motivation for others to give, too.”
To learn more about All Faiths and its COVID-19 response efforts, go to allfaithsfoodbank.org or call 941-379-6333.
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 THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY: Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $418 million in more than 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $21.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $274 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000.