SARASOTA, FL – For most of us, the fall season conjures images of a bountiful harvest – from apples and squash to sweet potatoes and pears. But for thousands of our neighbors, nutritious, healthy foods are simply out of reach.
As it has since 2018, All Faiths Food Bank is running its Autumn Harvest Campaign, which raises funds for programs that provide fresh fruits and vegetables to those in Sarasota and DeSoto counties who are struggling with hunger. The Rakay Family Foundation has offered up $100,000 in matching funds to bolster the effort; all gifts through the end of September are being matched.
Since 2006, the Rakay Family Foundation has aided local and national organizations working to improve their communities. The foundation has supported the Food Bank with matching gifts in the past; this is its second matching gift of $100,000 to benefit Autumn Harvest.
Not only are contributions being doubled through the match, All Faiths will continue to maximize resources through its “food rescue” operations, where unsold produce from local farmers and grocery stores is collected, stored in the organization’s warehouse, and then distributed through partner agencies and programs, including mobile pantries.
A total of $436,117.80 was contributed to All Faiths in 2021 for the Autumn Harvest Campaign. Last year, All Faiths Food Bank distributed 5.9 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables –more than 31% of its overall food distribution total – to people experiencing hunger.
“Regardless of economic status, everyone deserves access to healthy foods. And healthy eating benefits the entire community, as our neighbors enjoy improved health outcomes,” said All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank. “We are so grateful to the Rakay Family Foundation for this tremendous gift in support of our Autumn Harvest Campaign, and hope the community will be inspired to participate as well.”
As part of the campaign, All Faiths is hosting the third annual Autumn Harvest Dinner on September 30 in its Sarasota warehouse. The long-table dinner sold out weeks in advance.
Community members are asked to consider making a gift to the Autumn Harvest Campaign and supporting All Faiths Food Bank’s efforts to distribute fresh produce to families, children seniors and veterans in need. For more information, contact Denise Cotler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-315-7671, or 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.