To help provide food for families in need this holiday season, the Publix Food for Sharing program delivered over 86,000 pounds of food to Agape Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida.
The donations were delivered to Agape in three truckloads carrying a total of fifty-one pallets of food for distribution during the holidays to over 185 partner agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other feeding organizations serving across Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.
“The Food for Sharing program is a campaign we offer in the Spring and Fall where Publix customers have the opportunity to make monetary donations when they check out at the register. These donations are used to purchase products needed by organizations like Agape Food Bank. It’s an easy way for Publix customers to make donations to help families who struggle to put food on their tables this time of year. We’re very thankful for our loyal customers and their generous donations and proud of our partnership with Agape and the work they do in the community,” said Brian West, Media and Community Relations Manager at Publix.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.2 percent are living in poverty in Polk County. This is higher than the state’s rate of 16.3 percent.
“Hunger is not isolated to one day, event or season but it is felt more intensely during the holidays. Donations like this from Publix and their generous customers help us continue to provide food for our partner agencies and the children, families and seniors they serve when they need it most,” said Kim Long, Director of Agape Food Bank.
The Agape Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, is a food distribution warehouse in Lakeland, Florida serving nearly two hundred non-profit partner agencies in Polk, Highlands and Hardee counties. It is part of the national Feeding America Food Bank network and is the only designated USDA approved provider serving the tri-county region. Their vision is that 100% of the hungry population in the community has access to an adequate supply of nutritious food. Their mission is to lead the fight to end hunger in the community by providing nutritious food and transforming lives through innovative programming, education, and hunger advocacy. The mission of Catholic Charities of Central Florida is to provide vital social services for people in need regardless of their religious, social, or economic background, to improve lives of individuals, families and the community.