Sarasota, FL (October 29, 2020) – For many years, All Faiths Food Bank has worked to brighten the holidays for those who are struggling to put food on the table. This year, with the need significantly increased due to the financial impact of the pandemic, there are likely to be even more empty plates. To help All Faiths respond to the need, The Bay Park Conservancy and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall will host the kick-off for what will be one of the largest holiday turkey distributions in All Faiths’ history.
On November 7, frozen turkeys and side dishes will be distributed at Van Wezel (777 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota), starting at 9 a.m. and continuing as long as supplies last. Over the next several weeks, additional turkey distributions will take place in central Sarasota (Ed Smith Stadium), Venice (Trinity Presbyterian Church), North Port (City Hall), and Arcadia (Nocatee Truck Stop), and through All Faiths’ partner agencies, including school pantries, youth-serving nonprofit organizations, and mobile pantry sites. To find a list of locations, dates and times, go to All Faiths’ website, on the “Food Finder” page.
“The Bay and Van Wezel are excited about the opportunity to partner with All Faiths Food Bank to reach our community in this time of need,” said Veronica Brady, director of advancement for The Bay Park Conservancy. “It is terrible to imagine that our friends and neighbors are hungry at any point in the year; on November 7, it will be our pleasure to welcome those who are in need to ensure that they can enjoy a delicious meal during the holidays and feel hope for brighter days to come.”
The coronavirus has caused an unprecedented spike in need for food assistance. Since mid-March, the Food Bank has seen a 120% increase in food distribution and a 45% increase in new clients at mobile pantry distributions.
The funds for the turkey distributions are being raised through generous gifts to the All Faiths “ThankFULL” campaign (which is ongoing) as well as through the generous support of the Kathleen K. Catlin Foundation Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, which contributed $36,000. The goal of the ThankFULL campaign this year is to raise enough money to provide 4 million meals for families who are facing hunger
“With the pandemic still affecting job prospects and the health of the economy, we expect the holiday season to be very different this year – particularly for those facing unprecedented financial challenges,” said All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank. “With the help of our community, we can provide a holiday celebration and healthy meals for families who are struggling to put food on the table.”
All Faiths Food Bank provides nutritious food throughout the year as well as during the holiday season through its school pantries, mobile farm market, mobile pantries, backpack and nutrition education programs, and hundreds of partner agencies. To donate or to learn where and when to find upcoming food distributions, please go to www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.
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.