All Faiths Food Bank to hold monthly food distribution

Area hunger relief organization partnering with The Bay Sarasota and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to fight the continuing hunger crisis

In 2020 – due to the economic fallout from COVID-19 – All Faiths Food Bank distributed 60% more meals than 2019, with a 53% increase in new clients at food distributions. The number of users visiting the organization’s website to find food increased by more than 360%. The need continues to be unspeakably large. 

To help those who are struggling to put food on the table, All Faiths is partnering with The Bay Sarasota and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall on monthly, large-scale food distributions at Van Wezel (777 N. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota) the fourth Saturday of each month through October. The first takes place April 24, 9-11:00 a.m.; food – including frozen meat, fresh fruits and vegetables – is first-come, first-served and pre-registration is not required.

“Van Wezel and The Bay are honored to partner with All Faiths Food Bank on an ongoing basis as the need for food continues throughout our community,” said Mary Bensel, executive director of Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. “While many of us are welcoming the prospect of life returning to normal at some point soon, too many of our friends and neighbors are still suffering from the economic impacts of the pandemic. We are pleased to help them get the food they need here on our site.”

These organizations came together previously for the kick-off event for All Faiths’ 2020 holiday turkey distributions.Hundreds of community members received frozen turkeys, side dishes and bouquets of flowers in advance of Thanksgiving through a distribution at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in 2020 Photo by Cliff Roles
“With its convenient location, size and layout, Van Wezel offers a wonderful opportunity for us to reach hundreds of community members easily,” said Sandra Frank, president and CEO of All Faiths. “We are grateful to Van Wezel and The Bay for their commitment to helping us fight hunger and thrilled for this partnership to continue on into the future.”
All Faiths Food Bank provides nutritious food throughout the year as well as during the holiday season through its school pantries, mobile farm market, mobile pantries, backpack and nutrition education programs, and hundreds of partner agencies. To donate, please go to; upcoming food distributions can be found on the “Food Finder” page. 

All Faiths Food Bank is the only food bank and largest hunger relief organization in Sarasota and DeSoto counties. Rated 4-stars by Charity Navigator and a member of Feeding America, we provide millions of meals each year through robust programs and partnerships with charitable organizations in the community. In addition to food distribution, All Faiths Food Bank operates a roster of innovative direct service programs that not only solve the immediate problem of hunger but strive to end hunger by helping families and individuals gain long-term food security, better health outcomes and self-sufficiency. For more information visit