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Treasure Coast Food Bank awarded ‘Snail of Approval’ from local Slow Food chapter

Catherine Johns, second from right, of Slow Foods with Treasure Coast Food Bank staff David Vaina, left, Judith Cruz, and Daniel Leavy.

Treasure Coast Food Bank was recognized this year by the Gold and Treasure Coast chapter of Slow Food for its commitment to a good, clean and fair food supply.

Treasure Coast Food Bank earned the award, known as a Snail of Approval, for its work to feed those who struggle with hunger from Florida farms as well as its contribution to eliminating food waste.

Slow Food chapters across the nation recognize restaurants, chefs, farms, producers and other food related providers that make a significant contribution to the transformation of the food system to one that is good, clean and fair for all. Their Snail of Approval awards guide residents and visitors alike to purveyors and businesses committed to those goals. 

“We appreciate Slow Food Gold and Treasure Coast for this award that recognizes the work we’re doing to get fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables into the hands of people who struggle with hunger,” said Judith Cruz, Treasure Coast Food Bank President and CEO. “We’re very proud that our work not only feeds people nutritious food, but also makes a significant impact on improving the economy of Treasure Coast and Florida and eliminating food waste.”

During the budget year that ended June 30, Treasure Coast Food Bank distributed 3 million pounds of Florida-grown fruits and vegetables from family farms and ranches. When people eat food grown close to where they live, there are benefits to the environment as well as the local economy. Less food waste means lower greenhouse gas emissions and less overall waste. Eating food grown close to home means using less fuel to get it from farm to table. And because Treasure Coast Food Bank purchases a significant amount of local produce each year, it helps stimulate the market for growers.

The food is distributed through Treasure Coast Food Bank’s partner agency network and Mobile Pantry Program, and to St. Lucie County school children through the Farm to School program.

 Providing nutritious food to people who otherwise would not have access to it also benefits their health.  The work of Treasure Coast Food Bank helps mitigate the effects of poverty and food insecurity, especially as it relates to diseases prevalent among people who live in poverty, including diabetes and heart disease.


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 information on Treasure Coast Food Bank, call 772.489.3034, log on to, visit our Facebook page at, or follow us on Twitter at