Donors set $600,000 matching challenge this year.
The All Faiths Food Bank announced Tuesday morning that its goal of feeding in-need students in Sarasota County is off to a strong start thanks to a $600,000 fundraising matching challenge from donors.
Last year’s goals of raising $500,000 for a matching challenge and 600,000 pounds of food for the Campaign Against Summer Hunger were surpassed. The 2014 campaign raised more than $1 million and almost 800,000 pounds of food. All Faiths Food Bank distributed wholesome, nutritious food to more than 15,500 Sarasota County students from May through September.
The campaign seeks to help feed the 50% of students in Sarasota who are eligible to receive free or reduced lunches — 21,000 students in total.
Present for the campaign kick-off press conference were All Faiths Food Bank board member Keith Monda, Gulf Coast Community Foundation Senior Vice President for Philanthropy Veronica Brady and All Faiths Food Bank CEO Sandra Frank, along with campaign sponsors, partners, government officials and community leaders.
“It is inspiring to see such an outpouring of support from our community,” Frank said. “With their help, we will be able to amplify our extensive summer food programs and reach more children and families who need our help. We believe that children should be thinking about fun over the summer — not food.”
The last day of the campaign is Saturday, May 9, to coincide with the National Letter Carriers Food Drive, which allows residents to leave nonperishable food items in their mailboxes for pickup.
To learn more about how you can donate, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org.
By the numbers
800,000 pounds of food collected for 2014 campaign
$1 million collected in 2014
15,500 children fed in 2014
14,850 backpacks filled with food distributed to children
985,781 meals served
14,850 backpacks with snacks