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MFB Community and Business Support: December 2023


Bringing Hope and Positive Change

Three separate community groups recently demonstrated their support of the MFB Florida mission. Publix and the United Way of Lee, Hendry, and Glades joined forces for a day of volunteering, and the New Hope Presbyterian Church sent a volunteer group of over 25 teenagers to repackage bulk food.

During Publix Serves Week, over 70 Publix employees generously contributed their time and effort alongside the United Way for their Biannual "Day of Caring." They performed tasks such as packing products, writing thank-you notes, and maintaining the facility, bringing tangible and inspirational value to the organization. They ended their day by handing out food packs at our United Way Community Partnership Schools to students who often go without food over the weekend. It was a great way to see how the food impacts our community.

The New Hope Presbyterian Church Group's teenagers showed their passion for making a difference in our communities. Their dedication to packing bulk food, a crucial element in the fight against food insecurity, exemplified the spirit of compassion and hope. They also took the initiative to learn more about Midwest Food Bank Florida's mission through educational videos.

We thank these groups for showcasing the potential for positive change when organizations independently and jointly support the mission of Midwest Food Bank.

A Local Student's Volunteer Experience

The following was written by Benjamin Berlingo, a Senior studying Public Relations and Image Management at Florida Gulf Coast University. Benjamin is on the President's List at FGCU and plans to attend grad school upon receiving his Bachelor of Arts.

Benjamin Berlingo

When I first enrolled as a Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) student, I had never done any acts of service before. Volunteering was never something that I thought of when considering the "college experience." After my first day on campus, I realized that FGCU was committed to serving the great Southwest Florida Community through service learning. As I progressed in my academic career, I gained service learning experience through a nonprofit course offered to public relations students at FGCU. I had never done volunteer work before and had no idea where or who I would volunteer with. After discussing with my professor, I was introduced to the Midwest Food Bank (MFB) of Fort Myers through an FGCU alumni contact who took on a role at MFB.

When I read about the MFB's mission and long-standing service to the community, I knew this was the nonprofit organization I wanted to give my time to. I spoke with Scot Buss, the Marketing and Development Manager at Midwest Food Bank. Scot was extremely welcoming, and we came up with ideas on how my public relations education could be used to advance the mission of MFB.

That meeting with Scot was at the start of the semester, and since then, I have volunteered and assisted in various projects for the Midwest Food Bank. The knowledge I have gained through Scot and MFB has helped my public relations knowledge and contributed to the FGCU and my commitment to service. The roots of volunteering and service run deep at FGCU, and I could not have asked for a better relationship with a local nonprofit. Thank you, Midwest Food Bank, for providing me with the service learning experience that will help guide me throughout my future endeavors.

After graduating, Benjamin will continue his commitment to service by volunteering at Midwest Food Bank and other nonprofits. When asked about his Midwest Food Bank experience, Benjamin said, "I was fortunate to find Midwest Food Bank through one of my great professors at FGCU; it has been a great learning experience working with Scot and his team."

Rotary Clubs Effort Making a Difference
Rotarian and former MFB Georgia Executive Director Will Garner joined the fun.
At Midwest Food Bank Georgia, we are immensely grateful for the incredible partnerships that allow us to extend our reach and serve our community. Recently, we had the privilege of collaborating with Rotary International through a District Collaborative Grant, and we want to express our heartfelt thanks for their support. The goal was to fill 1,000 boxes with food and resources, assisting those facing food insecurity across five counties in Georgia.

The Peachtree City Rotary Club took the lead on this initiative, and it spanned over three months. They and eight local Rotary Clubs (Barnesville, Fayetteville, Griffin, Griffin Daybreak, Lake Spivey/Clayton County, Newnan, and Tyrone) recognized a pressing need for healthy food options in their local communities. However, it wasn't just about food choices; it was about promoting overall health and wellness.

Inside these boxes, recipients found a variety of healthy food options, along with easy-to-follow recipes. It included physical and mental health wellness tips, coloring books with healthy habits for children of different ages, and information on dealing with anxiety and stress, including mental health hotline contacts.

Rotarians dedicated their time and effort, volunteering over four evenings to pack the boxes and two days to distribute them. The impact of this project was significant. Approximately 20 agencies received these boxes. The collaboration between Midwest Food Bank Georgia and the local Rotary Clubs made it possible to touch the lives of many needy families.

At Midwest Food Bank Georgia, we are blessed to be part of a compassionate community that supports one another. Thank you to the District 6900 Collaborative Grant and all the members of the eight Rotary Clubs involved in this project. You've helped us realize our mission and make our community a better place for all. 


The Inspiring Work of Corporate Volunteer Groups

We are pleased to highlight some of our amazing corporate volunteer groups who have been making a difference in addressing food insecurity in our region.


For some time, BNSF has been both a financial and volunteer partner of Midwest Food Bank Texas. Earlier this month, we hosted several teams from BNSF's technology department to process bulk foods for communities in the Fort Worth area. In addition to BNSF's enduring commitment to sending teams of volunteers, they also graciously sponsored a table at our first Harvest of Blessings Dinner.


Caterpillar is one of our longest-standing volunteer groups. Their GCI Americas Global Marketing leaders took time to volunteer at the Midwest Food Bank Texas to make a difference. SVP Herwig Peschl and members of the GCI HR team were also happy to participate. The team packed 30 pallets of food and filled macaroni bags that will be distributed to non-profit agencies that provide food free of charge to local families in need.


We also welcomed the Dollar General volunteer group from the Fort Worth Regional Hub for the first time. Dollar General works hard to offer affordable access to name brands in convenient locations, often overlapping the underserved zip codes in which we distribute free food. Their team helped break down several bulk food items, making several hundred meals available and accessible to our communities. We are also grateful for Dollar General's financial contribution they made after volunteering.

We appreciate the dedication and hard work of these corporate volunteer groups. Their inspiring work is making a positive impact in their communities.

Business Support is Heartwarming

This fall has seen a heartwarming outpouring of support from businesses and organizations positively impacting their community through various initiatives benefiting the Midwest Food Bank Pennsylvania. K2 Insurance, for instance, demonstrated its generosity by assembling 100 holiday meal bags and lunch kits. The dedicated team at Keller Williams Realty - Sneidman and Henry distributed bags and lists to clients and collected and delivered an impressive 1,200 pounds of pantry staples. Penn State Health, ExhaLLT Performing Arts Academy, Freedom Bible Fellowship Church, and LDS congregations also played their part, contributing a wide range of items, including essential food supplies for Hope Packs aimed at helping children in need.

More inspiring projects are currently in progress at Commonwealth Charter Academy, Enbridge, Living Water Community Church, and many more.

"Our nonprofit partners really appreciate the meal kits and pantry staples collected by our friends," says Janice Reinke, Agency Coordinator for MFB Pennsylvania. As soon as they come into the warehouse, these donations go out the door to help people in need."

If you're interested in joining this noble cause and making a difference in your community, we encourage you to contact Erika Walters, our volunteer coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your group can bring hope and support to those who need it most. 

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