Gulf Coast Community Foundation and All Faiths Food Bank manuscript included in national publication

Manuscript reviews success of Feeding Hungry Families Initiative

This week, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation announced “that its successful Feeding Hungry Families manuscript — authored in collaboration with All Faiths Food Bank — has been published in the upcoming special issue for Local Development and Society, a national, peer-reviewed journal.”

A news release notes, “The manuscript will be featured in a special issue on place-based philanthropic institutions and community development. To read the publication, visit

“The manuscript reviewed the successful collective impact initiative, Feeding Hungry Families,” which was created by the Foundation, its donors and All Faiths Food Bank “to feed hungry families in Sarasota and DeSoto counties,” the release adds. “Launched in 2014, the initiative focused on collecting local data, increasing community awareness of the need, and launching the Campaign Against Summer Hunger (CASH).”

The release points out that, in the first year of the initiative, members of the community raised more than $1.2 million and 766,253 pounds of food. In 10 years, $14 million has been raised, the release notes.

“Investing in the efficiency and quality of charitable food distribution has provided welcome, beneficial support contributing to All Faiths’ successful growth,” said Jennifer Johnston, Gulf Coast’s director of community leadership, in the release. “Harnessing the strengths of many stakeholders, including Sarasota County, has led to lasting improvements, which served us well during the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ian,” she added. “I am proud to share this manuscript nationally in the hopes that it can assist other regions and foundations.”

“In my tenure at Gulf Coast Community Foundation, we switched from responsively reviewing grant applications to using a collective impact model to design initiatives to create systems change,” said Gulf Coast President and CEO Mark Pritchett in the release. “This manuscript is an example of the power of philanthropy to create long-lasting positive change in concert with multiple sectors. Our donors continue to engage with All Faiths to meet emerging needs across our region, including in DeSoto County, and post-Hurricane Ian. It’s incredible to look back 10 years later and see the continuing success of this. We are honored to see this good work published nationally,” Pritchett added in the release.

“Long-term, the Feeding Hungry Families Initiative has increased community capacity to distribute nutritious food,” the release says, and it has “improved collaboration between All Faiths Food Bank and partner agencies. While Gulf Coast launched this national award-winning effort, it has now transitioned successfully to community ownership and management. Expanded community gardens, increased fresh produce at food pantries, improved refrigeration for meat and dairy products, and additional summer feeding sites for children have been sustained,” the release points out.

“A decade ago, Gulf Coast Community Foundation and All Faiths Food Bank collaborated on an eye-opening study, which illustrated clearly the depth and scope of childhood hunger in our area,” said Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths Food Bank, in the release. “Since that time — with Gulf Coast’s and our community’s support, and through the strategic gathering and use of data — we have fed tens of thousands of area students and their siblings through the Campaign Against Summer Hunger, launched our DeSoto County Food & Resource Center, fed and provided water to thousands of residents impacted by Hurricane Ian, and so much more,” she added in the release. “We are grateful to have such a strategic and generous community partner like Gulf Coast.”

The release also notes, “The manuscript highlights the value of long-term, effective collaboration between Gulf Coast and All Faiths Food Bank. Gulf Coast and its donors continue to support All Faiths Food Bank with data and expertise, financial support, and empowerment to learn through experimentation and evolve to meet new needs. The two organizations have shown the value of a comprehensive approach to hunger relief. The Feeding Hungry Families manuscript is one example of the power of philanthropy to create lasting, positive, community-wide change.”