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Food For Thought Back to School Food Drive Aug. 20

July 30, 2015 by SoWal Staff

Food For Thought Outreach expects to serve over 1,200 students each week through its backpack program during the 2015-2016 school year - a significant 56% increase from last school year’s 770 students enrolled in the program. Every month, Food For Thought sends over 50,000 food items out to help battle food insecurity in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Add the year-to-year growth to the increased demand for assistance from Food For Thought’s summer outreach programs, and that can empty a warehouse very quickly. 
 
Tiffanie Nelson, founder and Executive Director, needed a new way to restock her organization’s supplies in time for the fast approaching school year. “The inaugural Stock the Pantry Party was such a resounding success last year, we decided to bring it back as a recurring fundraiser this year. Several of the sponsors and loyal volunteer groups developed a friendly level of competition which really sent donations over the top with the Ohana Institute collecting over 10,000 individual food items!,” says Nelson. Businesses, churches, schools, and individuals made the event a huge success last year, collecting over $30,000 in monetary and food donations. 
 
The Second Annual Food For Thought Stock the Pantry Party will take place on Thursday, Aug. 20 at the Santa Rosa Beach Pantry at 132 Market Street off Hwy 393 North. This year, there will be two categories for donations - Food Drive Sponsors will be competing to see who can collect the most food items. For those businesses who may not be able to collect over 200 items to enter the Food Drive competition, Backpack Sponsorships will also be available. A $500 donation is requested and the group or business will be recognized at the event. Food For Thought expects this year to be another spirited competition and awards will be given for First, Second, and Third place.  
 
Guests are asked to bring 5 food items (suggested items include: plastic jars of peanut butter, plastic jars of jelly, granola bars, fruit cups, snack crackers, and/or breakfast bars) or $5 for entry into the event. The event will feature food provided by Pizza By the Sea and Pop Stop, drinks, a raffle with great prizes, fun for the whole family, including face painting by Abrakadoodle, and opportunities to learn more about Food For Thought. 
 
“This event goes straight to the heart of our mission,” says Nelson. “We’re excited to continue to grow our organization by involving so many different community organizations and individuals and build our reach even further to help more children in our community.” 
 
Follow Food For Thought on Facebook and join their mailing list for additional updates. Contact Tiffanie Nelson at info@fftfl.org if you are interested in one of the remaining sponsorship opportunities for the 2015 Stock the Pantry Party.
 
Food For Thought is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in Santa Rosa Beach that provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare food for students who are dependent on free or reduced school meals. Their goal is to support a child’s development and educational experience by bridging the gap between school meals during weekends and holiday breaks.  Food For Thought has been working to fight child hunger since 2010, and currently serves 15 schools in Walton and Okaloosa Counties, providing backpacks for 1,200 students each week. For more information, such as donation locations, pantry items needed, and opportunities to volunteer, please email info@fftfl.org and visit www.fftfl.org. 

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SoWal Staff

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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