Sarasota organization gives 3.6 million holiday meals to those in need
SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (SNN) — Bringing Thanksgiving joy to those in need, thousands of turkeys and sides are being distributed this holiday season.
Thanks to funds raised through the annual “ThankFULL” campaign, All Faiths Food Bank is making a difference by offering frozen turkeys and sides to residents in need in Sarasota and DeSoto counties this weekend.
“We know that people around here are just really struggling with the cost of everything. Inflation means higher rent, higher gas prices, higher food. So we’re going to be giving away 13,000 turkeys and about 3.6 million holiday meals to help put a little cheer back in peoples’ holiday season because we know people need that right now,” said Director of Strategic Communications at All Faiths Food Bank Nina Harrelson.
Since its founding in 1989, All Faiths Food Bank has been a pillar of support during the holidays, particularly for those struggling to put food on their tables.
Recent challenges like inflation, Covid-19, and hurricanes, have hit families hard, especially children, seniors, and those on fixed incomes.
“The prices of groceries are just outrageous right now. We’re finding people who maybe have never even found themselves in a position before where they needed help like this and suddenly this year they’re saying ‘wow I don’t know if I’m going to be able to afford a holiday meal for my family,” said Harrelson.
The two large-scale turkey distributions are set to take place in Sarasota on Saturday, Nov. 11, starting at 9 a.m. at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, and on Wednesday, Nov. 15, starting at 4 p.m. at Ed Smith Stadium.
Sarasota and DeSoto county residents can conveniently drive up and receive their meals without leaving their cars, and must bring ID.
Distributions will continue until supplies run out.
“That’s money that they don’t have to spend on rent or on gas or on other groceries. That’s just one fewer thing for them to have to worry about,” said Harrelson.
Visit the “Food Finder” section of allfaithsfoodbank.org to find the distribution sites closest to you, or if you’d like to donate.