For the last eight summers, Food For Thought Outreach has provided food to students in need while they are on Summer Break. Students that are free and reduced meal programs during the school year, miss on average 110 meals over the summer, which is why Food For Thought does not stop providing meals to these kids over Summer Break.
The FFT Summer Program serves both Okaloosa and Walton Counties, providing 66K meals to 600 students over three months. The students involved in the summer program are able to pick up a month's worth of food, three times at our pick-up locations located within both counties.
By continuing to keep kids fed throughout the summer, it is empowering these students to stay nourished and not worry about where their next meal will come from while they are out of school. We are looking forward to be able to provide food to our students throughout the summer in hopes they will be able to enjoy their break as much as possible.
We are just two weeks away from the 14th Annual Destin Charity Wine Auction, which takes place Friday, April 26th through Sunday, April 28th! Food For Thought Outreach is proud to be one of 16 beneficiaries of the DCWAF, which since this auction began in 2005, has raised more than $18MM for children in need throughout Northwest Florida.
The three day event includes the Patron Dinner (4/26), Reserve Tasting and Live Auction (4/27) and the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival (4/28). The DCWAF Patron Dinner Benefiting Food For Thought Outreach will be held at the William's Estate in Destin.
DCWAF Patron Package Tickets are still available and can be purchased HERE, as well as tickets to the SOWAL Wine and Food Festival. Tickets for the only the wine and food festival can be purchased HERE.
We encourage you to take part in all or part of this wonderful weekend that gives back to the community and has provided so much for Food For Thought over the years. Last year, from the proceeds of the DCWAF, Food For Thought was fortunate enough to receive $150K!
In order to keep all of the Food For Thought programs in order, there is a lot of action that takes place behind the scenes, and Dinelle Putman keeps all things "programmatic" going as the Food For Thought Program Director.
For the last year, Dinelle has worked as the Program Director, overseeing all five of the year-round programs here at Food for Thought. This includes managing and directing a team for the Backpack, Snack and Summer Programs, as well as overseeing the Full-Circle Kitchen and Full-Circle Garden. Dinelle ensures that each of these programs has all of the resources necessary and that they are running efficiently as each program has been growing. Being the Program Director here at Food For Thought is an integral part of making sure Food For Thought Outreach continues to meet the needs of the kids in our community.
Dinelle has not always worked in the non-profit sector, but has always been drawn to, and had the desire to work for a non-profit or mission of some sort. After serving as a volunteer for Food For Thought through the bank she managed, Dinelle was drawn to the mission of FFT and began to look into more opportunities to work or serve. She was pleasantly surprised when, in March of 2018, there was a full-time position available for a Program Manager. Her 15 years of banking experience, the last three of which as an assistant branch manager, has lent her well to be able to direct the four programs at Food for Thought.
Working at Food For Thought has allowed Dinelle to feel like she has a career that has meaning and purpose, and she loves that she is also able to be a part of and give back to her community. Dinelle is looking forward to being part of the growth of Food For Thought, and excited for the new warehouse to open in DeFuniak Springs, allowing FFT to better serve the kids in Walton County.
As the heartbeat of Food For Thought Outreach, here is an update to what our Backpack Program currently provides. Each week, students who are on a free and reduced meal plan at school, receive a backpack of food to bridge the hunger gap they face over the weekend at home.
Food For Thought Fun Facts:
- 33rd school added during the 2018/29 school year
- (this program began with one school just 10 years ago!)
- 3,300 Students are served each week in two counties
- 40K food items are purchased and distributed every week
- 250 volunteers are needed every week to fill the backpacks
In order to fill the backpacks with 10 food items for these students, it takes $5 per student, per week, as well as volunteers to pack and deliver these backpacks to schools across Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
We are very proud of how this program has evolved over the last ten years and excited to see how the backpack program will continue to grow to serve more families in need in our community.
Learn more today to volunteer or donate at: www.fftfl.org
As we are preparing for our 8th Annual Charity Golf tournament next week, we would like to thank our Presenting Sponsors, Hilary & Reverie + 30A Realty. We also would like to thank our Beverage Cart Sponsor, Escapology and our Beer Sponsor, Grayton Beer. These companies have all been very close to the Food For Thought organization, and are helping to make this years golf tournament possible.
We are looking forward to another beautiful day on the greens with these companies and are grateful for their continued support of Food for Thought Outreach.
The 8th Annual Charity Golf Tournament will take place at the Santa Rosa Golf Club, followed by an awards ceremony and after party at the beautiful gulf front Vue restaurant. Festivities will begin at 11:30am for lunch and registration, with a 12:45pm shotgun start. All proceeds from the event support our work fighting childhood hunger in Walton and Okaloosa Counties!
If you are interested in playing the tournament, there may be a few spaces left; check out the registration page to sign up today!