Spread Holiday Cheer - All Faiths Food Bank

The holidays are near which means extravagant turkey dinners, baked goods, and gift exchanges. Unfortunately, while spreading holiday cheer, it's easy to forget that not everyone can afford to have a happy holiday season and many families go without the bare essentials during this time of year.

The All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota desperately needs the help of the community to re-stock its shelves after a busy Thanksgiving weekend in preparation for the rest of the 2012 holiday season. Over 70% of the food bank's total inventory comes from donations. Having enough inventory to meet the demand over the holidays will be a struggle this year due to recent federal funding cuts. The USDA used to donate approximately 18% of the 6 million pounds of food collected by All Faiths annually. However the funding reduction has resulted in a 75% decline in USDA donations, which means that we really need to come together as a community to make sure that all of our neighbors have enough to eat this holiday season.

Donating only $12 is enough to provide a family with a turkey dinner and all the trimmings. $100 is enough to provide 159 meals, while $500 is enough for 794. Donations can be easily made online or sent to the food bank via check.

Donating money isn't the only way to make a difference. You can drop off non-perishables at the food bank, and anything you can spare is greatly appreciated. Grocery stores donate the majority of fresh produce as well as bread and dairy items.

All Faiths has a need for:

  • Canned tuna & canned meats
  • Canned fruits & vegetables
  • Tomato products: crushed, diced, stewed, sauce, paste
  • Soups
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly/Jam

You can also donate time. This could mean dropping in to help out at the shelter, dropping off your donations at the shelter rather than having them picked up, or offering to drop off hampers/food barrels at other locations. One volunteer working at the food bank for one hour can sort enough food for 130 meals.

Please visit the website at www.allfaithsfoodbank.org for more information on how to get involved. Let's make this a happy holiday season for everyone in Sarasota!

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