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Treasure Coast Food Bank receives $75,000 grant from Publix Super Markets Charities for childhood hunger programs.

From left: Karl Zimmermann, Judy Cruz, Jamie Laviolette, Doug Sherman, Treasure Coast Food Bank Board Chair Miguel Coty, and Ed Skvarch

Treasure Coast Food Bank is pleased to announce it has received a $75,000 grant from Publix Super Markets Charities to expand its childhood hunger initiatives. The money will be used to expand both school-based pantries and the BackPack program.

“We’re extremely grateful to Publix Charities for its support of our mission and our programs,” said Treasure Coast Food Bank President & CEO Judith Cruz. “Publix has been a longtime partner with Treasure Coast Food Bank in numerous capacities, and this most recent grant underlines that continued support for solving hunger on the Treasure Coast.”

School-based food pantries, along with the BackPack program, are two of Treasure Coast Food Bank’s most effective programs to address childhood hunger. Both programs work in partnership with area schools to identify students who struggle with hunger and provide food for them.

“This grant will assist us in creating the critical infrastructure necessary to scale our program across our service area, including before- and after-program surveys to determine the impact of the School Pantry and BackPack programs,” Cruz said.

Each school food pantry provides a place for a parent to select food items for children as well as the entire family in a location convenient to the parent. The BackPack program provides a pack of nutritious food in child-friendly containers for the individual child to eat when school is closed and there’s no access to school meals, like on weekends and school holidays. 

“Childhood hunger has serious repercussions not just for children but for the entire community,” Cruz said. “Childhood hunger is linked to poorer performance in school and more incidences of illness. We see these programs as vital for both their immediate needs and long-term success.”


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

Angie Francalancia The Connection Public Relations
561-837-3251 office
561-324-2412 cell


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