The Family Faith Fest is an unprecedented free music and faith festival that will provide a day of fun, fellowship and exciting activities for people of all ages. It will also seek to fill an important need in our community—food for the hungry. Our faith calls us to love and care for our neighbors which is why everyone who attends the Family Faith Fest is asked to bring a non-perishable food item to benefit charities that serve the most vulnerable among us.
Some of the most needed items include: canned vegetables, fruits and soup, boxed & bagged [dried] pasta and rice and peanut butter and jelly.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg will deliver all the donations to four of their centers that serve the hungry.
- Pinellas Hope – adult homeless shelter in Clearwater (Pinellas County)
- Mercy House, a home for HIV/AIDS positive mothers and their children located in Tampa (Hillsborough County)
- Pasco Women’s Shelter in Hudson and Bethany Family Apartments in Dade City (Pasco County)
- Citrus County Outreach Center Soup Kitchen in Homosassa (Citrus County)
Here are some of the reasons this food drive is so important for our community!
- Nearly 500,000 of our neighbors are food insecure; that’s 1 in 7 people in the Tampa Bay area living in hunger at some point throughout the year
- Child food insecurity in our Diocese’ five counties ranges between 20% and 26%.
- Over 70% of adults and children in the Tampa Bay area are eligible for government assistance (i.e., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – formerly known as food stamps).
- 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
- The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 53% since 2001 and the number is projected to increase by another 50% when the youngest of the baby-boom generation reaches 60 in 2025.
- Florida ranks 18th of 50 states in poverty level.
“While it’s hard to believe given the wealth of our great nation and our state, nearly 1 in 7 Floridians are hungry on any given day. Your gift of one can of soup or tuna or a box of pasta or bag of rice can go a long way toward helping us continue to reduce food insecurity among our neighbors. It is our Mathew 25 Gospel mandate when Jesus talked about calling us to serve the least of these among us…’when you were hungry, you feed me,’” said Mark Dufva, Executive Director, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.
To read about the complete list of non-perishable food items that will be accepted, visit: https://familyfaithfest.org/help-the-hungry-and-homeless/