RELIGION

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates $1M to Florida food bank

Oct 25, 2023, 12:13 PM

Second Harvest of the Big Bend CEO Monique Ellsworth (right) guides representatives from The Church...

Second Harvest of the Big Bend CEO Monique Ellsworth (right) guides representatives from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and others through her organization’s headquarters on Monday, October 23, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

TALLAHASSEE — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given nearly $1 million to Second Harvest of the Big Bend on Monday.

According to the Church’s news release, the money donated to the Tallahassee-based food bank will help “increase food distribution from 15 million to 25 million pounds a year, or an additional 8.2 million meals for those in need within the 16 counties in Florida’s Big Bend area.”

“One out of every three children in the Tallahassee region does not have consistent access to healthy, nutritious food,” said Monique Ellsworth, Second Harvest’s chief executive officer. “Food insecurity has been steadily increasing, and we need more organizations like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to recognize the growing need and ask, ‘How can I help?’”

Elder Vern P. Stanfill of the Seventy presents a check of nearly US$1 million to Second Harvest of the Big Bend CEO Monique Ellsworth on Monday, October 23, 2023, in Tallahassee, Florida. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Previous Donations

According to the Church, the food bank has received numerous food donations from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The most recent donation was four semitruck loads, or 181,609 pounds of food, from the Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City. The Church said this was enough food to feed 5,600 people for a week.

In September, the Church also sent over 5,000 volunteers to the Big Bend area and $200,000 to Second Harvest to help with disaster relief aid to help those affected by Hurricane Idalia.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to send 40,000 pounds of food to Second Harvest to assist their incredible work during that crisis,” said Stake President Ben Smith, a regional Church leader. “It is easy to see the good works that Second Harvest of the Big Bend accomplishes across North Florida daily.”

According to the Church, Florida is home to about 168,000 Latter-day Saints in more than 280 congregations.

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donates $1M to Florida food bank