From left, Peter Tesch, Miguel Coty, Douglas Sherman, John Ekufu, Judith Cruz, Erin Neill Cox, Jamie Laviolette, Karl Zimmerman, Kim Johnson, and Ed Skvarch.

FORT PIERCE — Treasure Coast Food Bank has received a $50,000 grant from Publix Super Markets Charities to expand its BackPack program for children facing hunger.

Local Publix managers joined Treasure Coast Food Bank’s board of directors for a check presentation at Treasure Coast Food Bank recently.

“We’re extremely grateful to Publix Super Markets Charities for this grant to help us eliminate childhood hunger,” said Judith Cruz, President and CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “Publix has been a longstanding partner in our fight against hunger and a stalwart supporter of Treasure Coast Food Bank in many ways, and this grant shows a continued dedication to working with us to eliminate hunger on the Treasure Coast.

The money will allow Treasure Coast Food Bank to provide an additional 10,000 backpacks to food-insecure children on the Treasure Coast. Through the BackPack program, children receive wholesome and easy-to-prepare food to eat at times when they cannot access food at school or at a community facility, such as on weekends or holiday vacations.

Working in partnership with schools or agencies like the Boys & Girls Club, Treasure Coast Food Bank provides a weekend supply of shelf-stable food directly to students who are food-insecure. A weekend supply of food includes two nutritious breakfasts, three healthy entrees, shelf stable milk, fruit juice, two servings of fruit or vegetables, and a snack. Each serving is child-friendly, nonperishable, and easily consumed.

“The BackPack program is one of several programs we use to combat childhood hunger, and this grant significantly expands the number of children we’ll be able to serve this school year,” Cruz said.

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