The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry campaign is in full swing on the Suncoast, but this year, organizers say they are worried that contributions are down because of the fallout from the U.S. Presidential election.
“We are wondering if people’s attention is still focused on the aftermath of the election, because we’re seeing fewer donations so far,” says Joel Swallow, chair of the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program, in a news release. “It’s a shame, because there’s a desperate need here in our community, and the campaign offers a way to make a difference.”
There is still time to take part in the food drive, which is endorsed by the mayors of Sarasota, Venice, North Port, Longboat Key and Bradenton, as well as the Manatee and Sarasota county commission chairs, the release points out.
The collection of non-perishable food items continues through Friday, Nov. 18. It will culminate at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, where the Baltimore Orioles conduct their Spring Training seasons.
The stadium will be open from noon to 5 p.m. for the sorting of the food for distribution to food pantries throughout Manatee and Sarasota counties, the release adds.
Donations of food may be taken to collection boxes at the following locations:
- Ed Smith Stadium at the intersection of 12th Street and Tuttle Avenue in Sarasota.
- All Coldwell Banker offices in Sarasota and Manatee counties.
- Chase bank branches.
- Detweiler’s locations: 6000 Palmer Blvd. in Sarasota, 1250 U.S. 41 Bypass South in Venice and 6100 N. Lockwood Ridge Road in Sarasota.
- City halls or police stations in Sarasota, Bradenton, Venice, North Port and Palmetto.
- Manatee Association of Realtor offices.
- POPI’S Restaurants.
Volunteers will pick up the all the donated food on Nov. 18 and take it to the stadium for sorting, the release adds. All of the food will be given away “to hungry people in time for Thanksgiving,” the release points out.
The Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program is an all-volunteer organization that was founded in 1987 by the mayor of Sarasota, the release explains. It comprises charitable groups, religious institutions, service agencies and concerned residents with a desire to serve the community, the release adds.