VENICE, FL (May 2, 2023) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) is thrilled to announce that its successful Feeding Hungry Families manuscript – authored in collaboration with All Faiths Food Bank – has been published in the upcoming special issue for Local Development and Society, a national, peer-reviewed journal. The manuscript will be featured in a special issue on place-based philanthropic institutions and community development. To read the publication, visit https://bit.ly/3LXxs8R.
The manuscript reviewed the successful collective impact initiative, Feeding Hungry Families created by Gulf Coast, its donors, and All Faiths Food Bank to feed hungry families in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Launched in 2014, the initiative focused on collecting local data, increasing community awareness of the need, and launching the Campaign Against Summer Hunger (CASH). In its first year, our community raised more than $1.2 million and 766,253 pounds of food. Ten years later, more than $14 million has been raised since the program’s inception.
“Investing in the efficiency and quality of charitable food distribution has provided welcome, beneficial support contributing to All Faiths’ successful growth. Harnessing the strengths of many stakeholders, including Sarasota County, has led to lasting improvements which served us well during the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ian. I am proud to share this manuscript nationally in the hopes that it can assist other regions and foundations,” said Gulf Coast’s Director of Community Leadership Jennifer Johnston.
“In my tenure at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we switched from responsively reviewing grant applications to using a collective impact model to design initiatives to create systems change,” said Gulf Coast’s President|CEO Mark Pritchett. “This manuscript is an example of the power of philanthropy to create long-lasting positive change in concert with multiple sectors. Our donors continue to engage with All Faiths to meet emerging needs across our region, including in DeSoto County, and post-Hurricane Ian. It’s incredible to look back 10 years later and see the continuing success of this. We are honored to see this good work published nationally,” concluded Pritchett.
Long-term, the Feeding Hungry Families Initiative has increased community capacity to distribute nutritious food and improved collaboration between All Faiths Food Bank and partner agencies. While Gulf Coast launched this national award-winning effort, it has now transitioned successfully to community ownership and management. Expanded community gardens, increased fresh produce at food pantries, improved refrigeration for meat and dairy products, and additional summer feeding sites for children have been sustained.
“A decade ago, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and All Faiths Food Bank collaborated on an eye-opening study, which illustrated clearly the depth and scope of childhood hunger in our area,” said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths Food Bank. “Since that time – with Gulf Coast’s and our community’s support, and through the strategic gathering and use of data – we have fed tens of thousands of area students and their siblings through the Campaign Against Summer Hunger, launched our DeSoto County Food & Resource Center, fed and provided water to thousands of residents impacted by Hurricane Ian, and so much more. We are grateful to have such a strategic and generous community partner like Gulf Coast.”
The manuscript highlights the value of long-term, effective collaboration between Gulf Coast and All Faiths Food Bank. Gulf Coast and its donors continue to support All Faiths Food Bank with data and expertise, financial support, and empowerment to learn through experimentation and evolve to meet new needs. The two organizations have shown the value of a comprehensive approach to hunger relief. The Feeding Hungry Families manuscript is one example of the power of philanthropy to create lasting, positive, community-wide change.
About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
Headquartered in Venice, Fla. and with a second office in downtown Sarasota, Fla., Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed the region through bold and proactive philanthropy for over 25 years. Serving the needs of the region as a partner in philanthropy and leader in community initiatives, Gulf Coast has surpassed granting $510 million in the areas of: health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Gulf Coast was named one of the “Best Nonprofits to Work For” nationally by The Nonprofit Times in 2010, 2011, 2017, 2020, and 2021. To learn more visit GulfCoastCF.org and follow us on Facebook at @GulfCoastCommFnd.
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 in collaboration with 480 programs and partner agencies throughout the community. All Faiths works not only to end 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. 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.