Volunteers prepare 10,000 holiday meal boxes at 4th annual Pack The House
In just 24 hours, a small army of volunteers prepared 10,000 holiday meal boxes at Treasure Coast Food Bank’s 4th Annual Pack The House event, ensuring that individuals who struggle with hunger will share in the joy of a holiday meal.
Collectively, the volunteers put in 1,725 hours – the equivalent of 215 full work days – during the event that went from noon on Friday, Oct. 26 to noon on Saturday, Oct. 27. In addition to the holiday boxes, they sorted more than 7,500 items for Treasure Coast Food Bank’s teen pantry.
“Thanks to our wonderful volunteers and supporters in the community, Pack The House was a great success, and the result will be that more people who struggle with hunger get to share in the tradition of a holiday meal,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “I also want to thank our presenting sponsor, Wells Fargo, and our Ceremonial Sponsor, Walmart Distribution Center #7038 for supporting our event.”
Area leaders and other supporters of Treasure Coast Food Bank came out on Friday for the kickoff and lunch prepared by Healthy Harvest Catering. It is the newest program Treasure Coast Food Bank has launched to solve hunger in the four-county area of Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties. As Treasure Coast Food Bank marks its 30th Anniversary this season, its focus is on putting together the components of a self-sustaining future for people struggling with hunger – better nutrition, new jobs and vocational training.
“One fact is just as true today as it was in 1988,” Cruz said. “Hunger exists throughout the Treasure Coast. Today, just like back then, not everyone reaps the benefits of a booming economy. Today, just like back then, we see people every week working full-time but not making ends meet.”
The holiday food boxes, coupled with Treasure Coast Food Bank’s upcoming Turkey Drop, will ensure that people struggling with hunger can enjoy a traditional holiday meal. Turkey Drop Day is Saturday, Nov. 10. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day, Treasure Coast Food Bank’s refrigerated trucks will be stationed at several drop-off locations throughout the community where people can donate an uncooked, frozen turkey. Visit the events tab at www.stophunger.org for a full list of collection sites.
During Pack The House, the volunteers packed each meal box with traditional holiday fixings, including stuffing, vegetables, and cranberry sauce. By the end of the event, the volunteers also had sorted more than 7,500 items destined for Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Teen Pantry. Those items include school supplies, personal hygiene items, cosmetics, and other items teens might need.
“Pack The House happens each year because of the support of so many businesses, and community leaders, as well as volunteers, and we’re so grateful to each of them,” Cruz said.
Shift sponsors for the event were the American Public Works Association, Bank of America, CAPTEC Engineering, Inc., Fort Pierce Utilities Authority, Healthy Harvest Catering, Martin Health System, and Southern Eagle Distributing.
Providing food for the volunteers were Costa Azul Mexican Restaurant, Dixie Cream Donuts, Dunkin’ Brands, Healthy Harvest Catering, Moonswiners Bar-B-Q, Pappy’s Pizza, Starbucks Coffee, The Cake Lady, and Tropicana.
Treasure Coast Food Bank also extends thanks for their support to DJ Elextro Entertainment, DragonFly Graphics, Fort Pierce Police Department Color Guard, Sunbelt Rentals, and Top Clown Karaoke.
ABOUT TREASURE COAST FOOD BANK
Treasure Coast Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast, providing the community each year with millions of meals valued at more than $50 million through robust programs and in partnership with 400 charitable organizations in Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Okeechobee counties. In addition to emergency food distribution, Treasure Coast Food Bank operates a full roster of direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long-term food security, better health outcomes, and self-sufficiency. Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. For more in stophunger.org formation on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to , visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/tcfoodbank, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/tcfoodbank.