More Palm Beach County families will learn more about nutrition and how to stretch their grocery budget, thanks to a major grant of $650,000 to the Palm Beach County Food Bank by the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties.
Now known as the Marjorie S. Fisher Nutrition Driven Program, a grant of $100,000 per year for five years will enable the expansion of the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s nutrition education program. Additionally, the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund has launched the Palm Beach County Food Bank Food Purchase Matching Fund with a grant of $50,000 per year for three years. The Palm Beach County Food Bank will encourage other donors to contribute to the fund, with the specific purpose of supplementing its in-kind food donations through the purchase of food for the thousands of food insecure Palm Beach County residents.
“It’s hard to believe that we have thousands of children in Palm Beach County who have not eaten over the weekend or for whom the lunch they receive at school is the most significant meal of the day. I just want to feed hungry children and in addition to providing food, we must focus more on nutrition education. Developing healthier children and families is so critical. Please join me in supporting this important initiative.” Mrs. Fisher said.
The result of the grants will help the Palm Beach County Food Bank progress further on some goals identified in the Palm Beach County Strategic Hunger Relief Plan, which calls for all Palm Beach County families “to have access to healthy, affordable food and have the knowledge to make the best possible healthy food choices.”
In the Hunger Relief Plan, the Food Research Action Center, based in Washington D.C. singled out the Nutrition Driven program as a model effort: “Nutrition Driven, a partnership between the Palm Beach County Food Bank and the University of Florida/Palm Beach County Extension Service, is an innovative model that combines nutrition education and access to fresh foods for residents struggling with hunger.”
Perry Borman, founding Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, stated: “The support from Mrs. Fisher and her entire family has been incredible and life-altering, not only for the Palm Beach County Food Bank but more importantly for the children and families we serve. This multi-year commitment enables us to expand our nutrition education programming and create the Food Purchase Fund that will focus on providing healthier foods for front-line hunger relief agencies and the tens of thousands of residents we serve through them.”
History of Partnership
In 2009, the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties launched the Alleviate Hunger Initiative, a collaborative effort among seven local funders to focus on strengthening the local hunger relief system and improving access to and distribution of food for those most in need. This effort led to the creation of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, which incorporated in February 2012.
The Community Foundation improves communities through the power of giving. The majority of annual grant making is directed by donors to the causes they care about.
Mrs. Marjorie S. Fisher, her daughter Julie Fisher-Cummings and son-in-law Peter Cummings (via the Max and Marjorie Fisher Foundation) have become major supporters of the Palm Beach County Food Bank as part of their commitment to address basic needs in the local community. Starting with a contribution in 2012 towards a matching grant challenge from the Community Foundation that enabled the Food Bank to move into its first facility, the Fisher-Cummings family has committed more than $1 million dollars to the Palm Beach County Food Bank. In 2015, a multi-year commitment enabled the PBC Food Bank to significantly expand its Weekend Nutrition Program which provides healthy food for children and their families for the weekends.
Marjorie S. Fisher Nutrition Driven Program
Launched in December 2014, Nutrition Driven is a partnership between the Palm Beach County Food Bank and the Palm Beach County Cooperative Extension Service – University of Florida/Institute for Food and Agriculture Sciences (UF/IFAS). Nutrition Driven targets underserved communities and residents who live at or below the poverty level and may lack access to food-assistance programs and fresh produce. This food insecure population is at higher risk for hypertension and obesity that hinders the health of Palm Beach County residents.
The Food Purchase Matching Fund
Since inception, the Palm Beach County Food Bank has expanded the amount of food it is able to distribute by 88% to more than 5 million pounds per year. A significant percentage of the food is useable surplus food that is donated to the PBC Food Bank by farms, manufacturers, distributors and the general public. The Food Purchase Fund enables the PBC Food Bank to:
- Increase the amount of healthy nutritious food it is able to distribute to food insecure residents
- Better reduce the cyclicality of food donations (i.e. increase distribution during the summer months when the needs in the community are at the highest)
- Leverage greater purchasing power
The Marjorie S. Fisher Fund has committed $150,000 over a three year period and will match every contribution toward the Food Purchase Fund up to $50,000 per year.
About the Palm Beach County Food Bank
From a centralized location in Lantana, FL The Palm Beach County Food Bank rescues, collects and distributes food (at no cost) to more than 100 agencies that take on the daily responsibility of feeding the hungry in the local community. During the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the Palm County Food Bank provided nearly 5 million pounds of food that was distributed to at least 100,000 individuals in tens of thousands of families from Tequesta to Boca Raton and west to Belle Glade and Pahokee. The PBC Food Bank also provides weekly backpacks of healthy food during the summer months to 2,300 children and their families via its Weekend Nutrition Program. In addition to its Nutrition Program, the food bank assists nearly 800 eligible families per year lift themselves out of poverty by accessing SNAP benefits The Palm Beach County Food Bank is locally led and governed and is solely focused on the needs of Palm Beach County residents.
For more information, visit www.pbcfoodbank.org or call 561-670-2518 x303.
About the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties is one of Florida’s largest community foundations. The nonprofit organization has provided $120 million in grants and scholarships over its 43-year history. At its core, the Community Foundation is an organization created with gifts from generous people committed to local causes. For donors, the Foundation serves as a philanthropic advisor. For the community, the Foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader. Through the support of its donors and fund holders, the Foundation has been able to address some of the community’s most pressing needs, including hunger, housing and education.