With support through a generous grant of $50,000.00 from The Mosaic Company, Agape Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities of Central Florida, is providing food to over 1000 children in Polk County through the SmilePak Pantry & Backpack program.
SmilePak is currently operating in 22 schools, bringing backpacks of nutritious food to the district’s hungriest schoolchildren and their families each weekend during the school year.
“Hunger is directly correlated with academic achievement and we know programs like this can help our most vulnerable children succeed in the classroom,” said Kim Long, Director of Agape Food Bank. “We are pleased that Mosaic continues to support our efforts to alleviate childhood hunger.”
A typical SmilePak contains shelf stable 2% milk, 100 % fruit juice, cereal, and easy open cans of beef stew, chili, or red beans and rice for the children with additional supplies such as peanut butter, tuna fish, pasta dishes with canned fruits and vegetables for the family.
“Our partnership embodies the heart of Mosaic’s mission to help the world grow the food it needs. Locally, we are committed to closing the hunger gap for needy school-aged children, and Agape is meeting that very important community need,” said Gary N. “Bo” Davis, Senior Vice President, Phosphate Operations at The Mosaic Company.
SmilePak distributed 78,180 meals during the 2013-14 school year.
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. Its vision is that 100% of the hungry population in the community has access to an adequate supply of nutritious food. Its 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.
About The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation:
The Mosaic Company is the world’s largest combined producer and marketer of concentrated phosphate and potash, two essential crop nutrients. Driven by its mission to help the world grow the food it needs, Mosaic is committed to strengthening global food security and protecting critical water resources. The Mosaic Company and The Mosaic Company Foundation make investments in and partner with best-of-class leaders in the focus areas of food, water and local community investments. More information about Mosaic is available at www.mosaicco.com.