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Hundreds of volunteers pack thousands of holiday meal boxes at Pack the House

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Jacar Abrams and Jaye Bayles of Cleveland Clinic

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Diana Sprigs and Robin Dorsmeister

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Janie Toney and Public Works Director Milton Leggett, City of Stuart

Hundreds of volunteers packed 15,000 holiday meal boxes as part of Treasure Coast Food Bank’s 8th Annual Pack the House, a kickoff to the holiday season. The event took place Oct. 28 and 29. More than 500 volunteers worked in 3-hour shifts to fill boxes with holiday fixings for people struggling to make ends meet.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Board member Mark Satterlee welcomed guests and dignitaries to the kickoff ceremony Friday morning, sharing that Treasure Coast Food Bank helps anyone facing economic hardship.

“As Deputy County administrator, one of my focuses is economic development and I’m proud to work with the food bank on all the things that they do,” Satterlee said. “Besides packing and distributing food, they’re also providing career opportunities including culinary, hospitality, and barista training. They also offer commercial driver license training, so not only does the food bank provide emergency food but it offers job training. So again, I want to welcome you here this morning. It’s a great event to prepare for the holidays. We really appreciate you all being here early this morning, and welcome. Let’s go!”

Several community partners supported Pack the House. Walmart Supply Chain was this year’s Ceremonial Sponsor. Supporting sponsors were Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, iTHINK Financial, and TD Bank.

Pack the House is one of several activities Treasure Coast Food Bank holds to ensure that everyone can share in a traditional holiday meal this year as inflation continues to stress household budgets. There also is an upcoming holiday auction, turkey drive, and many volunteering opportunities.

“The holiday season is especially difficult for people who struggle to make ends meet, and this year with the high cost of food and other necessities, we have many more people struggling and seeking help,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “This holiday season, one in four people don’t always know where their next meal will come from, and we’re asking everyone to give thanks by giving to neighbors in need through a donation or by volunteering.”

Help people in need by making a cash donation. A $50 donation provides a full holiday meal for a family of four.  Visit to donate. Treasure Coast Food Bank also will be collecting frozen turkeys to include in holiday meals. Anyone wanting to donate a frozen turkey can drop it off at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s headquarters at 401 Angle Road in Fort Pierce, anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“We strive to ensure that everybody on the Treasure Coast has the opportunity to share a holiday meal, regardless of what they’re facing in their lives,” Cruz said. “In the weeks before Thanksgiving, we’ll provide holiday food boxes to our 300 partner agencies to distribute to people in need. We’ll also use our Mobile Distributions to provide families with holiday food boxes so they can prepare their own traditional holiday meals.”

Another way to help is by participating in the annual Holiday Online Auction. Shop for holiday gifts while supporting people in need on the Treasure Coast.  There are tickets to Disney World, the Orlando Science Center, Tampa Zoo and Dinosaur World. There also is a Certified A.E. Backus Print, and other original art pieces and several pieces of fine jewelry.

The Holiday Online Auction is presented by Florida Power & Light and takes place Dec. 2-12. Treasure Coast Food Bank is seeking additional auction items. Contact Alexandra Lord at or 772-446-1765 for more information.

There are numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the season. To find out about all the ways to help or to sign up to volunteer, visit

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