Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Will Be in Stock at Florida food banks

By: FL Association of Food Banks Press Release
By: FL Association of Food Banks Press Release

Tallahassee, FL -- August 17, 2011 --

In an effort to bring nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables to more Floridians in need, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation) today announced a $250,000 grant to the Florida Association of Food Banks (FAFB). The funds will be used to distribute wholesome but unmarketable fresh produce donated by Florida’s growers and packers to food banks throughout the state.

The grant supports another recent FAFB initiative launched with the packers and growers called Farmers Feeding Florida. By providing funds to offset the expenses of packing bulk donations of foods
into the most usable forms (for example, in cases or bags) and the transportation costs, the BCBSF Foundation grant facilitates widespread distribution to communities.

“We think this is a wonderful gift that will go a long way to increase fresh fruits and vegetables available at food banks throughout Florida,” said Rebecca Brislain, executive director of the FAFB. “It will make an immediate impact on meeting the high demand for food assistance and will help to provide more nutritious food to our neighbors facing hunger.”

Recent data released by Feeding America – a nationwide network of food banks and the largest hunger-relief charity in the U.S. – shows that in Florida during 2009, 17.1 percent of the population, or 3,115,650 people, were food insecure. Food insecurity is defined as “USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members; limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam acknowledged the grant during the official event at the University Area Community Development Center in Tampa. After his announcement, he attended a food distribution event with Tampa Bay Feeding America.

“The BCBSF Foundation is committed to the health and well-being of Floridians and their communities,” said Susan Towler, vice president of the BCBSF Foundation. “Supporting hunger-relief efforts is one of
the most personal ways we can make a difference for people in need.”

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Foundation (BCBSF Foundation) is a separate, philanthropic affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) incorporated in the state of
Florida. The BCBSF Foundation and its parent, BCBSF, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

For more information on the BCBSF Foundation, please visit its website at
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and the BCBSF Foundation are on Facebook and Twitter.

The Florida Association of Food Banks (FAFB) is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to ending hunger in Florida and is affiliated with Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization.
FAFB members distributed more than 130 million pounds of food last year through a network of 3,200 community- and faith-based organizations in all 67 Florida counties. For more information about FAFB, please visit its website at FAFB may also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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