Farm Share, Inc., in partnership with Florida Department of Children and Families, announced Friday it distributed more than 100,320 pounds of food and fed approximately 1,125 families at the Farm Share community partners event, in Quincy.
In addition to providing free food to residents of Leon, Gadsden, Liberty, Jefferson, Franklin and Wakulla Counties, the event also offered health screenings and other health information.
“Today, Farm Share provided greatly needed food to 1,125 families, showcasing the vital need for this program and the good work it does throughout Florida,” said Stephen Shelley, Farm Share Chief Operating Officer. “At Farm Share, we work with Florida farmers to prevent the wasting of unsold crops; and, instead, distribute healthy food, including fruits, vegetables, milk, bread, and juices, to Florida’s seniors, veterans, and children. We proudly do not pass costs onto community groups feeding the hungry, allowing us to be able to feed more rural and impoverished areas.”
“The ongoing partnership with Farm Share and the Florida Department of Children and Families is essential in providing families in need with access to food, health screenings, and resources to strengthen our communities,” said Mike Carroll, secretary of Florida Department of Children and Families. “Our mission — the core of everything we do — is to work in partnership with our local communities to protect the vulnerable, promote strong and self-sufficient families, and advance person and family resiliency. Our work with Farm Share and the vendors represented here today enables us to fulfill that mission.”
“It is important to provide health information to Floridians so that they can make informed and positive choices about their family’s overall well-being,” said Emily Kohler, tobacco program manager for Big Bend Area Health Education Center, Inc., a partner of Friday’s event. “It is especially paramount to provide it to those who may not have access to such information, including the negative impact tobacco usage can have on your health and body, or opportunities to monitor their health, such as screenings, like the ones offered at today’s event, on a regular basis.
“We are thrilled to work with Farm Share for such a great cause and look forward to continuing to be able to help all Floridians learn how to make good healthy choices now and in the long term. For more information on cessation, please call 877-822-6669 or visit tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway.”
“Thank you Farm Share,” said Shaunda Williams, a local beneficiary of the program. “Today’s event allowed my family and me to get free, fresh fruit and vegetables and health screenings. I cannot thank everyone enough.”
Community partners participating in today’s event included Florida Department of Children & Families, Gadsden County Healthy Start Coalition, Gadsden County Health Department, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s office, Tallahassee Community College Gadsden Center, Florida Healthy Kids, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Florida State University, TMHealthcare — Gadsden County, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Military and Veteran Affairs, Area Health Education Centers, Fresh From Florida, Florida Rx Card, United Way 211 Community Resource, Capital City Youth Services, Riverchase, Florida Prescription Assistance Program, Boys Town, DISC Village, Capital Regional Medical Center, Magellan Complete Care of Florida, Big Bend Homeless Coalition, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Big Bend Cares, WellCare and Panhandle Area Educational Consortium.
Farm Share is a nonprofit organization dedicated to recovering and distributing nutritious and healthy food to people in need. Farm Share, through its five statewide facilities located in Homestead, Florida City, Pompano Beach, Jacksonville and Quincy, specializes in acquiring donated fresh fruits and vegetables from Florida’s farmers and putting it into the hands of the millions of low-income households in need of nutritious foods.
After receiving the donation of food products, Farm Share then resorts and packages the foods for distribution to individuals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, churches and other organizations feeding the hungry in Florida — free of charge.
Since its inception in 1991, Farm Share has distributed more than 400 million pounds of food, with a value of more than $733,620,326. This past year, 40,497,190 pounds of food was made available to families, children, the elderly, the disabled and veterans in Florida through Farm Shares distribution program.
For more information about Farm Share events, volunteering or becoming a partner agency, please visit www.farmshare.org.