Food For Thought Helps 300 Families Over the Holidays

Food For Thought Outreach is known for delivering bags of food to children in need throughout the school year, but around the Holidays they deliver much more. The Holidays can be a difficult time for families in need and Food For Thought Outreach steps up to offer a helping hand.

Since 2011, Food For Thought and their teams of volunteers have helped spread cheer by offering special programming for families over the holiday breaks. Their first holiday outreach in 2011 started with one location and limited services. Today, this has grown into three days worth of packing, three days worth of distribution and four separate pick up locations.

This year, Food For Thought was able to serve 300 families for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That included delivery of over 240 frozen turkeys and 240 hams, 720 bags of food for Thanksgiving, 1,100 bags of food to last over the Winter Break, fresh bread, produce, and baking pans, as well as countless books and toys for Christmas.

The organization provides four different pick up locations to help minimize travel and transportation issues across the community and provides enough food to cover every meal missed over each school break – seven days over Thanksgiving and 17 days over the Winter Break.

IMG_0568

“This is a special time of year and we want to help the kids receiving our services to continue to have access to healthy, easy-to-prepare foods all year round – not just time they spend in the classroom,” said Tiffanie Nelson, founder and executive director of Food For Thought.

“We are blown away by this year’s fundraisers and partners in their generosity and spirit,” Nelson said.

Local businesses and organizations have stepped up in a big way to support the local nonprofit’s mission. All toys and books are donated each year and several area partners help to contribute food. Local students attending Ohana Institute met their goal to sponsor the needs for 50 families over Christmas break. Seaside Associated Stores contributed toys for 150 kids for the second year and employees helped with packing as well.

IMG_0569 edited

Walmart, St. Joe Club and Resorts, and the Boys & Girls Club of South Walton also donated food items. Over 30 students and parents from Seaside Neighborhood School donated food items and helped prepare bags for Christmas delivery. The City of Destin Christmas Parade contributed to the holiday food drive by encouraging participants to donate food items in lieu of a registration fee.

Cuvee Destin and Cuvee 30A raised over $1,200 at their holiday cookie swap earlier this month. Friends, family, and individuals went above and beyond this year including a large donation of toys from Board Member, Hilary Farnum.

Although, the organization has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support this year – their job is not done. Students will return to school in January and weekly deliveries will continue.

Every item donated so far this November and December has already been packed and delivered to a family in need, sometimes going immediately from delivery to bag spending no time at all on the pantry shelves. Food For Thought needs your continued support to help restock and replenish their pantries.

For ideas on how to include giving in your next get-together, please email info@fftfl.org or visit fftfl.org to donate.