All Faiths Food Bank Presents Annual Walk to End Summer Hunger

The Giving Coast

All Faiths Food Bank (AFFB) has announced the return of a signature annual event to raise awareness and funds to end child hunger. On Sunday, March 24, AFFB will present its Walk to End Summer Hunger – the kickoff for the 11th annual Campaign Against Summer Hunger. Nearly 50% of Sarasota County and 100% of DeSoto County students rely on free and reduced-cost meals at school. The Campaign supports efforts to feed area children during the summer months when they no longer receive those meals. AFFB estimates that more than 40,000 local kids will need food this summer. On top of an already high cost of living and growing inflation, Florida has opted out of the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (Summer EBT) program, which would have provided $250 million in funding to help families in need buy food this summer.  Through the food bank’s partners and summer programs, AFFB works to make sure children receive the nutritional assistance they need. Support from investors – who contribute matching funds to inspire greater widespread giving – and the community are critical to these efforts. From April 1-May 15, the Campaign – the community’s strongest line of defense against child hunger – gratefully accepts community contributions designated toward ending hunger for local children. AFFB is thankful for lead investors Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation and Gulf Coast Community Foundation for helping to fund the significant challenge match, as well as the more than 300 community partners – including schools, libraries, early learning centers, summer camps, community centers and numerous other organizations throughout Sarasota and DeSoto counties – that help the organization reach all who might be in need. The 2024 Campaign Against Summer Hunger Chair, Lisa Krouse, is determined to rally the community in the effort to ensure healthy foods are available for our community’s children. In 2023, the Campaign raised over $2 million. With this support, nearly 38,000 local children received nutritious meals, through 331 programs and partners. Since its inception in 2014, donors have given more than $16 million to the Campaign. The walk takes place Sunday, March 24, at Nathan Benderson Park; organizers expect approximately 500 members of the community to participate. The site opens at 7:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Participants can choose between a one-mile “fun walk” or a 5K walk. The cost, which is $25/adults and $15/children, includes a T-shirt and light breakfast. Register by March 13 at affb.org/walk. For more information, contact Becky Wright: bwright@allfaithsfoodbank.org or 941-549-8131. For more about All Faiths Food Bank, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org or call 941-379-6333.

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