United Food Bank and Services of Plant City Annual Report FY18 (Pages)

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United Food Bank and Services of Plant City, Inc.

Annual Report 2017-18

Providing a hand up and not a hand out

To provide assistance for those in need, moving them from a state of hunger and impoverishment

to self-suffi ciency, empowerment, and self-reliance.

In looking back over the last year, the United Food

Bank and Services of Plant City is grateful to its

many supporters as we report a 73 percent increase in

contributions, fundraising, and grant activity from the

previous year as verified in our most recent, annual audit

completed for the year ending June 30, 2018 by Raulerson

Castillo & Company, Certified Public Accountants.

With this good news comes a staggering reality for the

working poor served by this agency: while fundraising is

more successful than in years past, food donations are not

keeping pace with the extreme increase in demand. The

available product gap is significant.

While food contributions increased by 64 percent two

years ago from fiscal year FY2016 to FY2017, there was

only a 7 percent increase in food contributions this last

year from FY2017 to FY 2018: $3,587,700 donated in 2017

compared to $3,831,621 in 2018 to support an 18 percent

increase in people served. The food bank is struggling to

stock the shelves in order to serve vulnerable children and

families with food insecurities in Plant City, Dover, Seffner,

Valrico, Thonotosassa, and Lithia.

We can have up to 300 cars on any given day wrapped

around our building at 702 E. Alsobrook Street in Plant

City, with children, families, and individuals all in need

of assistance and counting on their local food bank, in

operation since 1991, to provide a hand up and not a hand


What has changed to account for the decrease in

food supplies donated to United Food Bank? For one,

supermarket and wholesale inventory systems are

more precise so overruns and unused food supplies—

United Food Bank shelf-stable inventory

transported with our own refrigerated box truck—are less

than last year.

Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the Feeding America network,

supplies the United Food Bank with 4 percent of its

donated food at an annual cost, while the remaining 96

percent of inventory is donated and picked up at Publix

(a long-standing partner), supplied generously by Gordon

Foods and Star Distribution, donated by residents or

corporations, or purchased with general operating funds

by the food bank.

I hope to close the gap between supply and demand by

identifying funding for our core program: hunger relief.

Only when someone has food security can they then

focus on their health, parenting, success in school, income

stability, affordable housing, and a living

wage. First things first.

Mary Heysek

Reminder of Empty Bowls

2011 was the inaugural year for the United Food

Bank’s Empty Bowls Project, which took place on

November 12, at the Robert W. Willaford Railroad

Museum in Plant City. What started out as a combined

art and lunch project to bring public awareness to the

issues of local hunger in East Hillsborough, has grown

to 800 to 1,000 ticket sales per year.

Empty Bowls was originally started in 1990 as a

grassroots movement in Michigan by Lisa Blackburn

and art teacher, John Hartom. It is often held in

conjunction with the United Nations sponsored World

Food Day in participating communities across the

nation and in Canada. Event guests choose a bowl and

keep it as a reminder of all of the empty bowls in the

world. It was Hartom’s idea to give artists and local art

students a way to personally make a difference in their


The Empty Bowls Project in Plant City—to bring

awareness to food insecurity throughout the entire

United Food Bank service area of Plant City, Dover,

Seffner, Valrico, Thonotosassa, and Lithia—is

coordinated annually by the committee chairman and

United Food Bank Board Member, Silvia Dodson, and

her entire committee.

Since its start in East Hillsborough, and with the help

of a grant from the Arts Council in Plant City, the food

bank engaged David Dye, a retired pottery artist from

the Hillsborough Community College Ybor Campus, to

become a Pottery Artist guest instructor in the schools.

Mr. Dye demonstrates the art form in at least nine

Hillsborough County Area 5 elementary and middle

schools. Following a demonstration, students are

encouraged to then create and donate their pottery for

the Empty Bowls event.

While it is the second leading fundraising event, next

to Celebrity Chef, for the United Food Bank each year,

it is so much more. It’s a means to advocate for hunger

relief in our own back yard using an intergenerational,

visual arts, community-based approach.

In 2013, the United Food Bank and its Empty Bowls

Project Committee welcomed 13 participating churches

and organizations with the presentation of 20 different

soups donated for the event. Last year the number of

participating organizations rose to 30 with 34 varieties

of donated soup. Additionally, in 2017, 26 schools

participated in making clay bowls that the public took

home from the Empty Bowls event as a reminder of the

many bowls that go unfilled each day.

The Empty Bowls art-for-hunger event is taking place

from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on November 10, 2018, at

the Railroad Museum in Plant City. The popularity of

the event and the local soup recipes inspired an Empty

Bowls cookbook to go on sale in November 2018.

The tenth annual United Food Bank Celebrity Chef fundraiser that took

place on February 3, 2018, was a great success with nearly 50 silent and

live auction items, including a dinner for six at nationally renowned Chef

Fabio Viviani’s new Osteria restaurant in downtown Tampa, opening in early

October 2018. Chef Viviani gave a live cooking demonstration in front of

more than 300 Celebrity Chef event attendees at The John Trinkle Center

in Plant City. This is the second appearance by Chef Viviano, well known

for his debut on Bravo’s Top Chef. Other celebrities have included the Lee

Brothers and Emily Ellyn.

A date of February 2, 2019, is reserved for the next Celebrity Chef event

held on behalf of the United Food Bank and Services of Plant City.

Mosaic Advances Food Security

The Mosaic Company helps the world to grow the

food it needs. This industry leader with a global

presence has significant roots in Central Florida. In the

Tampa Bay area Mosaic has offices and operations

in Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, and DeSoto

counties with more than 3,000 employees in the state

of Florida, and 1,000 of them living in Hillsborough


Mosaic strives to strengthen communities where it

has offices and operations. Central to this corporation

are the community investments it makes in three core

areas: food, water, and supporting local communities.

Mosaic recognizes that food production must double

by 2050 to meet the growing global population and

address the nearly one billion individuals who will go to

bed hungry today.

The United Food Bank has partnered with The Mosaic

Company since 2012 with the volunteerism of Donna

Burke, Strategic Sourcing

Manager, serving on the

United Food Bank and

Services of Plant City Board

of Directors. Additionally,

Mosaic continued many

years of financial support to

United Food Bank given by

CF Industries by providing

operational, program, and

logistical improvement

funding through the direction

of Public Affairs

Manager Nikki Foster.

Nikki Foster, Public Affairs

Manager, The Mosaic Company

The food bank is a natural partner with Mosaic as it

falls within its core area of investing in food insecurity

and development in local communities where Mosaic

operates. Global agricultural development and

agricultural education are also priorities of the Mosaic

Company Foundation in this one core area of “food.”

United Food Bank and Services of Plant City relies on

strong funder partnerships to continue to grow and

meet an ever increasing demand for services with a

hand up and not a hand out. It’s not just a funder;

Mosaic is a direct collaborator in its community

investment areas. This enables the food bank to better

serve those in need and provide supportive services

that promote personal strength, family and child wellbeing,

and self-sufficiency.

When asked about nonprofit alignment to the

core investment strategies of Mosaic and what the

foundation looks for when reviewing applications

for funding, Ms. Foster responded, “In the space of a

nonprofit, we want to ensure it’s reputable, financially

sound, and has strong leadership. Most importantly, we

look for organizations that are focused on its mission

and is able to meet its goals. We look for strong

community partners. This is when it’s not just about

what you do, but how you do it.”

Driveway improvements at United Food Bank and Services: mission accomplished.

The funding is secured. It is a near $80,000 project to reinforce the back loading

area at the United Food Bank and to redesign the front parking lot to accommodate

up to 300 vehicles on any given day.

The front of the United Food Bank building was never designed for the volume of

traffic created by food bank clients and guests. Thanks to BBE-Boggs Engineering for

the design and specifications (and Hillsborough Surveying with donated services) that

allowed WTS Wetherington to advance the plans and complete the paving. The project

was made possible with a donation from local residents Bill Carr and Jennifer Closshey

with additional funds from Hillsborough County secured by Commissioner Stacy White

of District 4 .

Florida Department of Health


Program Overviews

PreventT2, a proven program to prevent or delay type 2

diabetes, is brought to Plant City by the Florida Department

of Health in Hillsborough in partnership with the United Food

Bank. The curriculum used by the Florida Department of

Health (provided over a 12-month period) is furnished by the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough reached

out to the United Food Bank in March of 2016 to implement

a PreventT2 year-long program on-site in Plant City. It is a

critical service to the community; approximately 1 out of 3

American adults has prediabetes while 1 out of 10 American

adults has diabetes (CDC Website, 2018).

Type 2 diabetes puts individuals at risk for serious health problems

such as those listed below, including a 50 percent higher

risk of death than individuals without the disease:

• heart attack

• stroke

• blindness

• kidney failure

• loss of toes, feet, or legs

By participating in a CDC-recognized lifestyle change program

an individual can cut their risk of type 2 diabetes in half. Specifically,

National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies have shown

that people with prediabetes who take part in a structured lifestyle

change program, lose 5 percent to 7 percent of their body

weight through healthier eating, and commit to 150 minutes of

physical activity per week can cut their risk of developing type

2 diabetes by 58 percent and by 71 percent for people over 60

years old.

Greg Champlin, Nutrition Educator in Community Health from

the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, instructs

the PreventT2 curriculum at the United Food Bank. It is

the second 12-month course offering at this location. Multiple

sites are available in the county for the PreventT2 program.

The data produced following the first PreventT2 program held

at the United Food Bank with five people completing all 26

modules through a full year’s commitment are as follows:

• Total Lbs. Lost: 81 Lbs.

• Total Avg. % Weight Loss: 8.4%

• Avg. Lbs. Lost Per Person: 16.2 Lbs.

With a new 12-month program underway at the Food Bank,

local resident, James Beier, Ph.D., who attended the inaugural

PreventT2 program, came back to provide personal testimony:

he lost 21 pounds and has kept them off. He said he stopped

eating sugar and preservatives, started checking labels, and

put into practice what he was taught in the program.

United Food Bank seeks to stamp out hunger in East

Hillsborough County through a holistic approach, including

community referrals, to reduce some of the causes

of hunger: lack of access to food stamps, unforeseen medical

costs, low wages, housing costs, unemployment, and

poor money management. The following programs are part

of the food bank’s 2017-18 onsite continuum of care:

Food Distribution: grocery stores, donors, cash

purchases, Feeding America, foundation partners

• Emergency Food Distribution: Funders/ FEMA

• FDIC Money Smart Program: Regions Bank

• ACCESS Site: approved DCF site for benefi t sign up

and monitoring (food stamps, etc.)

• Education Center: computer lab and internet for job

search, insurance registration, educational classes

and tutorials, GED preparation

• Hunger on Campus: with Hillsborough Community

College, lunch and learn sessions on campus and

provision of emergency food supply boxes

• Children’s Nutritional Outreach: Hillsborough

County Public Schools Area 5

• Diabetes Prevention Class: FL Dept. of Health

• Cooking Classes: Hispanic Services Council

• Health Literacy: Hispanic Services Council and

Florida Blue

• Flu Shots: BayCare’s South FL Baptist Hospital

• Interns: Hillsborough Education Foundation with

Bank of America and Take Stock in Children; and

Hillsborough Community College clinical program

• Volunteers: Plant City Housing Authority, Plant City

High, Durant High, Rotary, Elks, Lions Club, local

churches, court-order, and corporate employees


potlight on Childhood Hunger and Nutrition

United Food Bank partners with Hillsborough

County Public Schools Area 5 to

conduct a food drive and generate 174,000

pounds of food for children in need. During

the winter, spring, and summer breaks

from school, 600 bags go out per week to

approximately 7,339 children who are provided

food during vulnerable times, up from

6,515 children served in 2016.


Financial Update


A combined total population of 183,691 that includes service to

residents in Plant City, Dover, Thonotosassa, Seffner, Valrico,

Lithia, and limited outreach to Riverview. (US Census)

Plant City Hillsborough County

Per Capita Income $21,597 Per Capita Income $28,727

↓Poverty w/children

Publix Addresses Local Hunger

Publix Super Markets opened its first store in Winter

Haven, Florida in 1930 founded by George Jenkins,

with just 6 associates. Today, Publix has grown to more

than 1,200 stores across seven

states: FL, GA, AL, TN, SC, NC

and VA. Mr. George’s spirit of

giving – a corner store of the

company culture, and the more

than 196,000 Publix associates

continue to carry on that spirit of

giving each and every day.

Brian West, Media and

Community Relations Manager,


Publix has been a strong partner

with the United Food Bank and

Services in Plant City. Brian S.

West, Publix Super Markets, Inc. Media and Community

Relations Manager, has served as a board member for

the United Food Bank since 2006. In recent years, Publix

has increased their support of the food bank through

their (1) Perishable Recovery program (2) the Food For

All program where customers and associates make

donations at the register for unrestricted funding for

hunger efforts, and (3) the Food for Sharing program

held in the spring and late summer each year where

customers and associates make donations at the register

that are converted to food items and donated to food

banks, (4) through its Publix Serves Day in which Publix

associates have helped clean, paint, and repair parts

of the food bank, and (5) through sponsorships and

general donations.

In addition to this strong support, United Food Bank

has collaborated with Publix Super Markets Charities

through grant requests focusing on youth, education,

and reducing hunger.

Since beginning their Perishable Recovery program in

2009, Publix Super Markets, Inc. has contributed nearly

300 million pounds of product.

Brian West knows Plant City, and not just because it’s in

the backyard of their Lakeland corporate headquarters,

or because he has been with Publix for 28 years, but

because he has first hand knowledge of the needs of

Plant City. He’s very proud that he was born and raised

in this city.

The first Publix opened in

downtown Plant City in 1945

following the acquisition of the

Lakeland Grocery Company and

their 19 All American stores

(one of which was located in

downtown immediately south

of today’s Whistle Stop Café).

Another milestone occurred in 1966 when Mr. George

established Publix Super Markets Charities.

Even as inventory procedures become more sophisticated,

there will always be some degree of shrink, which

creates an opportunity for perishable items that can be

donated to the community. West observed, “Partnering

with food banks and pantries is a natural fit. Since I

began serving the food bank, we’ve continued to see a

dramatic increase in need, and this

isn’t unique to Plant City.

Star Distribution has made financial and equipment contributions to the United Food

Bank throughout the years. A new Energy Master forklift was donated to the Food

Bank toward the end of the last fiscal year in 2018 by Star Distribution; this donation is

in addition to their consistent pledge of financial support to this nonprofit. Founded in

1892, Larry Jimenez, Sr. and his family—owners since 1948—transitioned Star from a food

brokerage and sales company to Florida’s most premier 3rd party, full service logistics

solutions company with a state-of-the-art facility in Plant City.

Gordon Food Service, a family owned Michigan business started its Plant City operations

in 2010. Since then, the company has provided United Food Bank with regular

donations and direct staff involvement. Earl Biggs, Regional Director, Transportation, for

Gordon Food Service is a United Food Bank board member. It is important to their employees

that they participate. As Mr. Biggs firmly believes, “It would be ideal if there was

no food insecurity or hunger, but the fact is, the need is real and continues to grow. We

cannot ignore this...”

Reality of College Campus Hunger

Hunger on college campuses is a reality that is

becoming more and more common. As reported in

early 2018 by a Temple University and Wisconsin HOPE

Lab, more than a third of college students can’t afford

to eat or have stable housing. In addition to 36 percent

of students reporting food insecurity and another 36

reporting housing insecurity, another 9 percent were


These numbers are even higher for community college

students: 42 percent report that they struggle to obtain

adequate food and miss a complete day of meals

per month. And 46 percent of the community college

students said they had difficulty paying for housing and


United Food Bank has forged a unique collaboration

with Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Plant City

Campus to address college hunger. In working with Dr.

Martyn Clay, Campus President and Cris Legner, Dean,

Student Services, Food Bank Executive Director, Mary

Heysek and Operations Manager, Ashlee Montanaro,

present issues of hunger during on-campus

lunch and learn sessions. HCC has a Food

Insecurity Task Force covering its campuses,

flyers are distributed, and staff are trained in


Hillsborough Community College recognizes the stigma

that can be attached to food or housing insecurity for

their students. They have worked out an arrangement

with the food bank to supply a weekend box (an emergency

ration stored on campus and distributed by the

Dean of Student Services, Dean of Academic Affairs, or

through the Office of the President, to students who

identify a need along with a voucher to present at the

food bank).

By the numbers:

• Since April of 2018, HCC Plant City has distributed

55 emergency food boxes.

United Food Bank has provided 80 emergency

boxes to the campus.

• HCC Plant City has distributed between 60-75

vouchers for food bank services to students.

• During a two-day “Welcome Back” event in August

of 2018, 39 vouchers and three emergency boxes

were handed out in just two days.

“What is extremely gratifying is that we realized a need

and identified how to fix it, and connected those students

with needs to the United Food Bank. In addition,

students, including some receiving assistance, are coming

back to the food bank to volunteer to help others.”

—Dr. Martyn Clay, Campus President

Mary Heysek and Ashlee Montanaro Presenting at HCC Plant City in April 2018

Volunteerism at United Food Bank and Services for the FY 2017-18 remained strong. From FY 2016 to FY 2018

there was a 53 percent increase in volunteer hours going from 4,377 in FY 2016 to 4,570 in FY 2017 to 6,704 in

FY 2018. Volunteers are provided by corporations, community neighbors, churches, board members, and through

court-ordered community service (another 500-600 volunteer hours per year). Corporate volunteers come from

Publix, Mosaic, Suncoast Credit Union, Bank of America, Keller Williams, State Farm, Plant City Housing Authority, Area

Agency on Aging, Camping World, and College Hunks Hauling Junk. Bright Futures and other students volunteer from

Plant City and Durant High Schools. The food bank receives two HCC clinical interns per semester.

702 E. Alsobrook St., Suite H

Plant City, FL 33563




Save The Date: Upcoming Food Bank Events

Empty Bowls Event: 11/10/18

Art for hunger awareness

Homemade bowls and soup

Willaford Railroad Museum

United Food Bank and Services of Plant City, Inc.

Annual Report 2017-18

Providing a hand up and not a hand out

Celebrity Chef Event: 2/2/19

Chefs: Sheriff Chronister &

Police Chief Ed Duncan

Emcee: Mayor Rick Lott

11th Annual Event

The John Trinkle Center

oard Chairman’s Report


I am honored to serve as President of United Food

Bank’s Board of Directors beginning July 2018 through

June 2019. I’ve been a director on this board since 2011,

with a prior two-year term as the Board Treasurer.

My leadership is immensely enhanced by the strength

and depth of our 18 dedicated board members, while

we continue to mourn the loss of board member David

Galloway who passed away a year ago this October.

Professionally, I have spent 25 years in community banking,

20 of those years here in Plant City; I currently serve

as Senior Vice President of Hillsboro Bank in Plant City.

In addition, I’m committed to improving the community in

which my wife Mary and our two daughters live and work.

I just completed a four-year term as the East

Hillsborough appointed Planning Commissioner for

Hillsborough County, served more than a decade as

City of Plant City Planning and Zoning Board member,

a Raider Champions Foundation Founding Director and

Treasurer, 2012 Chairman of the Plant City Chamber of

Commerce, and Plant City Rotary Club member.

United Food Bank has helped families I know personally

to bridge a short-term, unexpected fi nancial hurdle. To

honor our mission, I will focus my chairmanship on the

collection of shelf-stable foods and new fundraising.

On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Hillsborough

County, Commissioner Stacy White (District 4),

and two local donors for making our recent driveway

improvements possible.

UFBPC Board Members

George W. Banning

Earl Biggs

Donna Burke

Mathew Buzza

David Davenport

Silvia Dodson

David H. Galloway †

Kendelle Jimenez

Bill McDaniel

Marsha Passmore

Matt Buzza

UFBPC Board Members

Rev. Dean Pfeffer

Jon Poppell

Daniel Raulerson

Bruce Rodwell

Bruce Sperry

Beth Tancredo

William Thomas

Brian West, Emeritus

Dodie White

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