We are very excited for the official ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of our Defuniak Springs Warehouse! The opening of this warehouse is a big move to help serve the needs of our community, as the Food For Thought program continues to grow.
The new Defuniak Springs location will now be the third pantry location, allowing for the first time, Food for Thought to store and house three months worth of packaged food for the backpack and snack programs. This will help prevent any shortage or delays in receiving and delivering food, as this pantry is a central location to serve as the "pull center" for both the Destin and Santa Rosa Beach locations. This new location will also allow FFT to expand services, be able to source better food pricing and the size of the warehouse will allow for an easier time for our volunteers to help fill and deliver backpacks.
We are extremely grateful to our donors and volunteers who have made this new warehouse location possible! The generous contributions and donations of many Food For Thought supporters made the warehouse vision a reality over the last 15 months. We are looking forward to see how this new location will positively impact to serve our community!
We are honored to have been a beneficiary of the 13th Annual Chi Chi Miguel Weekend, which raised over $1 Million for eight Gulf Coast non-profit organizations! We want to give a huge thank you to the Emeril Lagasse Foundation, who organized this fun filled weekend, and who has been a supporter of Food For Thought Outreach for so many years.
During the Chi Chi Miguel Throwdown Benefit Auction and BBQ, two of our students from the Emeril Lagasse Full Circle Kitchen, along with two students from Emeril's Culinary program at the Seaside School cooked and served their own culinary menu to attendees of the fundraiser. It was great to see how these students are benefiting and learning from these culinary programs in our area, helped made possible by fundraisers like these.
Thank you again to all the winemakers, chefs, volunteers and sponsors that made this event possible; it truly was a fun day and an honor to be a part of!
One way to help combat hunger in America is to also fight to reduce food waste. Almost half of the food grown, harvested and transported goes to waste in the United States.According to Feeding America, seventy-two billion pounds of food goes to waste each year, while forty million people are hungry in America. Feeding America works with companies and farmers to recover and distribute more than 3 billion pounds of food per year in order to give it to families that are in need. Also, according to The National Resource Defense Council, "if we were able to rescue just 15% of the food we waste each year, we’d save enough to feed 25 million Americans."Here at Food For Thought, we work with local businesses to receive food that would otherwise be thrown out to be donated and used within our programs. The new Paula Deen's Family Kitchen restaurant in the Destin Commons will be donating unused ingredients, vacuum sealed, which we will be able to freeze and store for future use in classes in our Emeril Lagasse Full Circle Kitchen.Reducing food waste is just one other way we can help to fight hunger in our community!More information on reducing food waste can be found here:
Our Crawfish Boil is just around the corner, and we want you to join us! If you have not signed up already, now is the time! 100% of all proceeds will be used for Food For Thought's Summer Program.
The Crawfish Boil will be held at the Santa Rosa Pantry (Directions can be found HERE) from 12-3pm on Sunday, May 5th. We will be featuring the culinary talents of Michael McIntosh (Henderson Beachwalk Cafe) and David Cunningham (Formerly a Chef at Trebeche). During the Crawfish Boil, you will also be able to enjoy the music of Scott Rockwood and Friends. This is a family friendly event, so please come join us!
Tickets can be purchased HERE our site.
$20 for Adults // $10 for Children
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.