Sarasota, FL (March 7, 2022) – All Faiths Food Bank is bringing back a popular awareness event, after two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Sunday, March 27, All Faiths will present its Walk to End Summer Hunger, the kick-off for the annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger, which supports efforts to feed area children when they do not have access to food at school.
Nearly 50% of Sarasota County and 100% of DeSoto County students rely on free and reduced-cost meals at school. The summer months can be especially difficult for the children of families struggling to put food on the table, as they lose access to those meals as well as school pantries that provide nutritional assistance over the weekend.
Now, as the cost of living surges in the face of growing inflation, many families are working harder than ever to make ends meet. Hunger deprives children of more than just food: child hunger results in learning delays, psychological distress, and behavioral problems that can impact a child’s growth, development and health long into the future. Growing children need access to good nutrition to develop properly, avoid illness, and be able to focus in the classroom.
From April 1-May 15, All Faiths Food Bank’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger – the community’s strongest line of defense against child hunger – returns for its ninth year. Through the food bank’s partners and summer programs, All Faiths works to make sure children receive the help they need. The hunger relief organization is grateful that lead investors Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee are returning again to continue their steadfast support of the Campaign.
The immediate past president of the board of All Faiths, Nelle Miller, is the 2022 Campaign chair. Miller is determined to rally the community in the efforts to ensure healthy foods are available for our community’s children.
“We simply can’t allow those who are the most vulnerable to hunger to suffer when school lets out for the summer,” Miller said. “Our community has always stepped up to the awesome responsibility of ensuring that our neighbors, our children, receive the nourishment they need, and that children can enjoy a healthy, happy summer and be prepared for their re-entry into school in the fall.”
In 2021, Campaign investors contributed matching funds of $800,000; the total raised through matching funds and the community campaign was more than $2 million. With this support, All Faiths was able to serve 34,069 students and siblings 3,175,762 meals, through 341 programs and partners.
The Walk takes place Sunday, March 27, 8 a.m. at Nathan Benderson Park; organizers expect attendance of approximately 500 members of the community. Participants can choose between a one-mile “fun walk” or a 5K walk. Cost is $10/adults, $5/children; includes T-shirt and lite breakfast. Register by March 14 at affb.org/walk.
For more information, contact Becky Wright: email@example.com or 941-549-8131. For more about All Faiths, visit 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, providing millions of meals each year with nearly 200 agencies and programs throughout the community. All Faiths works not only to fight hunger today but also strives to end hunger – forever – by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, enjoy better health outcomes, and achieve self-sufficiency. In 2021, All Faiths distributed 19 million pounds of food – equating to 17 million meals, provided 36% more meals than 2019 (pre-pandemic), and remained steadfast in its commitment to provide nutritional assistance to community members, including 44% who were new to the food bank. For its efforts, All Faiths was honored as the 2021 “Nonprofit of the Year” by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; the organization was also recognized as a Top 4 Food Bank in the country in 2020. All Faiths is rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator and is a member of the Feeding America and Feeding Florida networks. For more information visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.