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Pine View School Clubs Set to Deliver Fresh Produce to Families in Need

Written by Edward Brunicardi, Pine View School

Several service clubs from Pine View School will soon distribute more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce and other food to low-income families in Sarasota.

Fresh produce often goes to waste, as grocery stores leave up to 50 percent of it behind, even though it is perfectly edible. Farm Share, a Florida-based non-profit, takes this fresh produce and transports the food to organizations to give to low-income families throughout Florida.

The Farm Share project in Sarasota is led by Pine View Schools’ PeaceJam club and is supported by several other campus-based service organizations, in collaboration with Gocio Elementary School. PeaceJam is a service-learning, peace action-driven organization, which unites youth and Nobel Peace Laureates to create systematic, positive change. The organizations that will staff the event include Serteen, Key Club, Builders Club, Interact, Diversity Council, the National Honor Society and the National Junior Honor Society, all of which are clubs based at Pine View School, a public school in Osprey that serves intellectually gifted students in grades 2-12. While PeaceJam's partnership with Farm Share is a long-term relationship, the project aligns with Pine View Schools’ history of service projects, such as #FeedingOurFuture – an effort to provide food security and literacy rich-home environments for Sarasota families in need.

“Imagine a semi-trailer filled with thousands of pounds of fresh produce. This is what Farm Share sends to us that we then have the privilege to distribute in our local community,” said Edward Brunicardi, Pine View School PeaceJam Ambassador and one of the three project managers for Farm Share. “The distribution at Gocio Elementary was scheduled with the idea of providing food assistance to support families just coming off spring break,” he said.

In addition to promoting fresh locally grown foods, we arrange each food groups into original and easy recipes that are made directly for each family’s diverse needs,” said Luis Flores, PeaceJam Ambassador and co-manager of Farm Share. “Over the past 9 years, Pine View Schools’ PeaceJam has coordinated 35 pounds of healthy and local food to more than 1,000 Sarasota-Bradenton families that are in need at each of our events. It is truly incredible to evidently know that we have made a real impact in our community.”

“We have also received generous donations of hygiene products from Ehrlich and Sallapudi Orthodontics to encourage healthy living since it’s often the last thing on a low-income family’s mind,” said Odelia Tiutyama, PeaceJam Ambassador and co-manager of Farm Share. “It may not seem like a big deal to receive a few meals or

hygiene products for many of us, but there are so many families in our community that rely on distribution events such as Farm Share to receive proper nutrients.”

This will be Pine View Schools’ 8th year working with Farm Share. Patricia Robbins, Farm Share’s Founder and CEO, said, “Farm Share is excited to partner with Pine View School and the greater Sarasota community to provide fresh fruit and vegetables and other commodities to 1000 families in need. Farm Share’s mission is to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by recovering and distributing fresh and nutritious food to those who need it most. Our children and seniors are the most vulnerable.”

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Saturday, March 30, at Gocio Elementary School, 3450 Gocio Rd Extension in Sarasota, FL 34235.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information on the Farm Share event, contact Project Coordinator Edward Brunicardi at 942-504-8662 or ebrunicardi13@gmail.com.

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