All Faiths Food Bank, in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, launched its 40-day campaign, “Campaign Against Summer Hunger,” Tuesday, April 1.
The campaign, which runs through May 10, encourages local residents to empty their shelves and make cash donations to combat seasonal hunger.
"Campaign Against Summer Hunger" stems from a recent study, the Child Hunger Study, conducted by the two Sarasota nonprofits, that presented figures of child hunger in Sarasota County.
In Sarasota County, approximately 21,000 children — or 50% of students — receive free or reduced lunches.
“Food insecurities for children and families is a fact in this community,” said Teri Hansen, CEO and president of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “This is an opportunity for you to give from your head and your heart.”
During the campaign, every Goodwill and fire station in Sarasota, Venice and North Port will serve as drop-off locations. A new website, SkipALunch.org, accepts online donations and provides additional information, including drop-off locations.
“The summer-hunger issue is solvable,” said All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank, “but we’re going to need your help.”
Frank is confident in the campaign — she announced the opening of 45 summer feeding sites, a summer backpack program and six new school pantries.
Frank also announced the donation of $500,000 by a group of investors as a challenge for the community to match.
The campaign is aimed at not only full-time residents but also seasonal residents who leave their pantries full during the summer.
“They head back up North and forget about the hunger,” says Frank. “We’re trying to get ahead of the inevitable — empty shelves in July and August.”
“I can think of no better investment than our kids, our future,” says All Faiths Board President John Nicholas.
For more information on All Faiths Food Bank, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org/index.php
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