September 30, 2015, Naples, FL –
Pan-Florida Challenge (PFC) together with partner Meals of Hope are proud to announce the two are joining efforts with the Walmart Foundation to feed 181,000 meals to hungry kids across Collier, Lee, Hendry and Palm Beach Counties through one of the Walmart State Giving Grants.
The Walmart Foundation’s mission is aligned with the vision of the Pan-Florida Challenge and Meals of Hope: Every child should have access to nutritious food. The sad fact is 1 in 4 children in South Florida do not. In Collier County for example, over 15,000 kids are food insecure and do not know where their next meal is coming from*. “We ride our bikes across Florida in the Pan-Florida Challenge to help feed some of the 1.1 million Florida kids without a voice who worry about where their next meal is coming from. The problem is local, right in our backyards.” said Ed Mullen,Founder and President of the Pan-Florida Challenge. “The Walmart Foundation’s contribution extends our reach to even more hungry kids. From last year’s ride, we are feeding half a million meals to kids. This year’s ride, March 12-13, 2016, will raise funds for 1 million meals. In 2017, the Pan-Florida Challenge’s goal is to feed 3 million nutritious meals to hungry children.”
“A Meals of Hope food package sent home with a child who suffers alone from hunger, offers more than just nourishment. To a little girl or boy who is dealing with the stress and insecurity of not knowing how or when they will receive their next meal, a comforting bowl of Macaroni and Cheese or Beans and Rice, both fortified with soy protein and 21 vitamins and minerals, provide a bit of hope to carry them through another day.” -said Steve Popper, Founder and Executive Director of Meals of Hope Walmart, the world’s largest food retailer shares the same ethos motivating the work of the Pan-Florida Challenge and Meals of Hope. All envision a day, when no child has to wonder where his or her next meal will come from. “No local child in our community should have to go hungry, not one.” states Matt Kragh, Founder of MHK Architecture & Planning, and major Sponsor of the Pan-Florida Challenge. “We must feed these kids, and feed them better food. We sponsor the PFC, our employees ride and donate all because of the impact– the PFC feeds our local hungry kids nutrition-packed meals at a cost-effective price.”
The Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program plays an essential role in the Foundation’s goal to create opportunities so people can live better. To meet the unmet needs of underserved low-income populations, the program provides grants to 501(c)(3) organizations, ranging from $25,000 to $250,000, and invests in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. In addition, to fight hunger in America, Walmart launched a 5-year, $2 billion initiative called “Fighting Hunger Together” in 2010. Since then, the company has provided $2.6 Billion in in- kind donations of nutritious food and the Walmart Foundation has granted $260 million in cash to nonprofits, by 2014, one year ahead of schedule. Locally, Naples Walmart Manager, Larry Graham, has been personally engaged in the fight against hunger and was instrumental in securing one of the 180 refrigerated trailers the Walmart Foundation has donated to come to South West Florida to deliver fresh, nutritious products safely to those local families in need. About Meals of Hope Naples, FL Based Meals of Hope, is a nonprofit 501 ©3 charitable organization with a hands-on approach to combat hunger in our community by bringing food packing events to churches, schools, associations & organizations. With over 27.7 million meals packed since 2009, Meals of Hope and its volunteers and partners are making definite strides in combating hunger and food insecurity here at home. Meals of Hope is the only food-packing organization in the Unites States with 4 meals designed to appeal to the American palette to take care of people that are hungry right in our own community. About the Pan-Florida Challenge Naples, FL based Pan-Florida Challenge (PFC) is a nonprofit corporation and the Pan-Florida Challenge for Hungry Kids event is an annual, two day, 160 mile bike ride across Florida from Naples to Palm Beach, held in March. Through our fundraising and partnerships, we provide meals to hungry children who do not know where their next meal is coming from. The 3rd annual Pan-Florida Challenge event takes place March 12th & 13th . Join us to raise 1 million meals for hungry kids this year. Register to ride, volunteer or to donate visit www.panfloridachallenge.org today. PFC has benefitted significantly from the generous support of sponsors across the Naples and Palm Beach business and rider communities as well as national corporations rallying behind feeding hungry kids including: Founding Sponsor Beacon Real Estate Partners, MHK Architecture and Planning, Waterside Builders Inc, Domino’s, Marshalls, Stradalli Cycles, GuidePoint, Exari, Naples Velo, FineMark National Bank & Trust, Kelly, Passidomo & Alba, LLP, Capital Wealth Advisors, WCI Communities, Cheffy Passidomo Attorneys at Law, Poli Mortgage, Bill Bone Bike Law, Soldavini & Caldwell , CPA PA, Farmer & Associates PLLC Attorneys at Law, CBiz Tofias, SeaSucker, Whalen Public Relations, Banyan Printing, Provident Jewelers, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Sommer Sports, City Place, the Downtown Development Authority of West Palm Beach, LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation, Hendry County Tourist Development Council, Roland & Mary Ann Martin’s Marina & Resort, Airport Kia, , Inc., Elévée Fine Clothing, Talis Park, Clive Daniels, DD’s Cupcake Shoppe, Sommer Sports, Naples Pathways Coalition and Race Doctor Pro Cycling Service.