While ballrooms and hotel event spaces went dark for the social season, All Faiths Food Bank − the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties − has been focused on meeting an exponential upsurge in need in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. With an overall increase in need of approximately 120% (with new clients increasing almost 45%) as the economic impact of the coronavirus is felt, the Food Bank is grateful for the trust and overwhelming generosity of public, private and corporate foundations and the entire community, which made it possible to expand distribution events.
Attire at All Faiths Food Bank distribution events has been Florida summer casual, with sneakers, T-shirts and sunblock suggested; face masks required. Attendance numbers have climbed into the tens of thousands at venues including participating schools and partner agencies as well as the Food Bank’s traditional mobile distribution sites. Additionally, in May, large-scale food distributions were held at CoolToday Park in North Port and Ed Smith Stadium in central Sarasota; the Food Bank extends its thanks to the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles for their hospitality as well as to the National Guard for its invaluable assistance.
The menu has included nourishing nonperishable foods and snacks, fresh Florida produce, frozen meat, and milk from Dakin Dairy Farms. No invitation or RSVP is necessary; all who wish to support the organization as well as those who find themselves in need of assistance are welcome.
Seen out and about...
Food Bank board members (l-r) Nelle Miller, Terri Vitale and Patricia Courtois at Ed Smith Stadium.
Baltimore Orioles staff members were on-site at Ed Smith Stadium to lend a hand.
Sandra Frank, CEO (far right) and All Faiths Food Bank staff at CoolToday Park.
All Faiths Food Bank Chief Development Officer Denise Cotler assists at Riverview High School.
Members of the National Guard assist with the distribution at Ed Smith Stadium.
Photographer Cliff Roles has helped to document the work of All Faiths Food Bank.