SARASOTA, FL – All Faiths Food Bank brought back a popular awareness event, after two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Walk to End Summer Hunger – the kick-off event for the annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger – supports efforts to feed area children when they do not have access to free or reduced-cost meals and pantries at school.
This year’s event, which took place at Nathan Benderson Park, featured a 1-mile “fun walk” and a 5K walk. The capacity for the event was reached: nearly 600 community members participated. It was a bright, beautiful, crisp morning for the walkers – who were given and were wearing bright orange Campaign Against Summer Hunger T-shirts – All Faiths staff and volunteers.
After check-in and a lite breakfast, and remarks by All Faiths board chair Ben Hanan, CEO Sandra Frank, and 2022 Campaign Against Summer Hunger chair Nelle Miller, the Walk began. Leading the walkers were students from Venice Middle School; Principal Tomas Dinverno serves on the All Faiths Food Bank board of directors.
This year marks the ninth annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger. Prior to April 1, Campaign investors – including steadfast supporters Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee – contribute matching funds: during her remarks, Miller announced that the match this year is $1 million. From April 1-May 15, the community is engaged through widespread fundraising efforts.
Last year, a total of more than $2 million was raised; through those funds, All Faiths was able to serve 34,069 students and siblings 3,175,762 meals, through 341 programs and partners.
This summer, 40,000 children are at risk of hunger. The summer months can be especially difficult for the children of families struggling to put food on the table, when they lose access to free and reduced-cost meals at school as well as on-site pantries that provide nutritional assistance over the weekends. All Faiths Food Bank’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger is part fundraising campaign, part nutritional assistance program to feed area students and their siblings during the summer. The Walk serves as the kick-off/awareness event to bring attention to the Campaign and the issue of child hunger.
To learn how you can help feed children this summer, visit 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, 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.