October 31, 2014
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From left, John Johnson, co-director, store No. 2411; Ken Murphy, director of Free Clinic Food Bank for St. Petersburg Free Clinic; Mark Tunstill, store No. 649 director; and Gary Lyens, store no. 2443 director, show off their 100,000 Pounds Plus Club certificates. ​

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic recently welcomed Winn-Dixie stores in St. Petersburg, Florida into the exclusive 100,000 Pound Plus Club.

Between April and August, the area Winn-Dixie stores donated 131,699 pounds of food to the clinic, a non-profit community organization that provides assistance with food, shelter and health care.

Winn-Dixie store directors accepted the certificate with honor during the St. Pete Free Clinic Partner Agency Reception, where donation beneficiaries shared their stories of how far a pound of food can go in the community.

“We are so thankful for the items that they donate: meat, produce, deli and dairy,” said Ken Murphy, director of Free Clinic Food Bank for St. Petersburg Free Clinic. “These are the items our clients are fortunate that we can provide, thanks to Winn-Dixie stores. These items make their meals.”

The donated food is collected from grocery stores throughout St. Petersburg and feeds food-insecure families and individuals various ways.

“For many people seeking food, it’s not just about not being able to buy the food because transportation to get the food is very hard,” said Ellen McDonald, director of communications for St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

The clinic has more than 60 food partner agencies that distribute food collected by the clinic to people and families in need in the community.

“Every week, those partners come to us and we give them the food for them to give out in their own pantries,” said McDonald.

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic also cooks some of the food donated by Winn-Dixie to be served in the clinic’s community kitchen and to feed people living in its residences. The residences help men, women and families transition from being homeless or near homeless to living a more secure life. In addition to feeding the members of the residences, they teach them budgeting skills and assist them with job interviews during the transition.

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Winn-Dixie stores no.s 2411, 2409, 2443, and 2511 received the certificate of appreciation for joining the St. Petersburg Free Clinic’s 100,000 Pound Plus Club for 2013-2014.

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