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

United Food Bank and Services of Plant City Annual Report FY18

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 out. 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