UPDATE: The WKRG Day of Caring this year was a huge success. We volunteered with Feeding the Gulf Coast in Mobile and Pensacola. This is a continuation of our big summer project, Stock the Pantry, which collected over 12,000 pounds of food for local children, providing more than 10,000 meals.

WKRG volunteer teams went to two Feeding the Gulf Coast warehouses and sorted more than 5,000 pounds of food.

MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — Old, beaten and bruised mean something different at the Feeding the Gulf Coast Milton location. WKRG News 5 employees spent the day organizing 1,500 pounds of donated food for the food bank.

Canned goods and beverages are inspected for dents and expiration dates. Volunteers threw out anything too old or already open. Things that could be kept are stored into boxes for transfer.

“We have 7 counties that we serve here out of our Milton warehouse from Pensacola all the way out to Panama City. We operate through over 130 agency partners and out of this warehouse alone we do close to 1,000,000 pounds a month of food.”

Anna Goretski, Community Engagement Coordinator 

The 20,000-square-foot facility turns food around every 45-60 days. The bank plans to give the 1,250 meals boxed up on Friday to pantries across the Florida panhandle.

The food bank works hard to have stock for emergencies like hurricanes and tornadoes on the Gulf Coast. The bank also provides food to pantries and school organizations year-round through different programs.

“We actually operate four child nutrition programs and we’re in our summer meals program right now,” said Goretski. “So kids 18 years and younger can receive a free meal if you go to our website, you can find a location that’s near you in which you’re able to get either a breakfast, lunch or snack there for kids. But we do offer a senior program as well as our constantly sorting and organizing food for our agency partners.”

In just three hours, our team of nine employees boxed 1,500 pounds of food. The food bank says they are in need of staff and more volunteers to keep the operation up to speed.

“We are very appreciative that WKRG knows the importance of food, feet and funds and are out here volunteering and giving that feet,” said Goretski. “So any volunteers who are interested can just go to our website feedingthegulfcoast.org to sign up and come out and volunteer and have just as much fun.”

WKRG News 5 chose Feeding the Gulf Coast for the 2022 Day of Caring initiative. A paid day for Nexstar Media companies to serve the community in a unique way. WKRG News 5 teams also volunteered at the Mobile County, Ala. location.