In Polk County, which ranks ninth in the nation in “food hardship," people depend on Agape Food Bank.
We collect more than 6 million pounds of donated food, distributing it to an estimated 100,000 needy families and individuals in Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties. We do so mainly through our members, a network of more than 250 soup kitchens, churches, senior centers and other not-for-profits. We also rely on powerful national and regional partners:
- We are the only agent in Polk County for Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief program in the nation.
- We are the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s sole designee in Polk to receive and distribute free food from the government.
- We are a member of the Florida Association of Food Banks. As such, we're participating in a new initiative to get fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the field to feed people in need.
Agape’s outreach efforts include “mobile pantries,” in which the food bank loads a truck and goes to remote neighborhoods that have been identified as high-need. These pantries usually occur at least once a month.
Agape also started “SmilePak,” a program in which backpacks containing food for the weekend are given to 1,000 needy children in kindergarten through high school.
Our mission is to alleviate hunger in our region by providing not only food, but education and other resources. For example, we have started to offer nutrition education and food safety classes, teaching people how to prepare food commonly provided by food pantries.
How can you help?
Agape Food Bank is always looking for food donations. You can bring them to our distribution center at 625 McCue Road in west Lakeland (off U.S. 92 West) or to either of Catholic Charities' food pantries in Polk County:
* 1801 E. Memorial Blvd., Lakeland
* 197 W. Central Ave., Winter Haven
In addition, we are accepting money to offset the costs of the SmilePak program and mobile pantry. Just click the red “Donate” button on this website and designate your donation for Agape.
Agape is an Equal Opportunity provider (USDA).