Media Contact: David Vaina, Director of Strategic Resources
Ft. Pierce, FL— After more than a decade operating as an independent non-profit organization in Martin County, Whole Child Connection will officially become incorporated into the Treasure Coast Food Bank on July 1, 2015.
In April, the Children’s Services Council of Martin County selected Treasure Coast Food Bank to assume Whole Child Connection after a competitive review process. The Whole Child Connection name will remain in place, but the program will be fully integrated into the Treasure Coast Food Bank operations plan and budget.
“We’re so delighted to bring Whole Child Connection and its dedicated staff under the Treasure Coast Food Bank umbrella,” said Judith Cruz, CEO of Treasure Coast Food Bank. “This is a unique opportunity to coordinate a program that’s a one-stop-shop for local families to become more self-sufficient in the critical areas of health, education, food, and employment.”
Over the last two months, Treasure Coast Food Bank senior staff has been regularly meeting with Whole Child Connection program staff to better align the program with Treasure Coast Food Bank’s programs, especially others coordinated to connect local families with public and private services that lead them on the path to self-sufficiency.
Whole Child Connection invites adults to anonymously complete an online profile that identifies their family’s specific needs and then through a case-management model, connects them with local providers who enable both children and adults to access services in education, health, transportation, emergency services, housing, community activities, and more. This year, the program is projected to impact nearly 4,000 individuals in Martin County. More information on the program is available at www.stophunger.org.
All Whole Child Connection program staff remained with the program. Krista Garofalo, Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Chief Programs Officer, will now oversee the Whole Child Connection program and report to Cruz and the Treasure Coast Food Bank’s board of directors.
The Whole Child Connection office will remain in Port Salerno, and staff will continue to coordinate outreach hours at the Elisabeth Lahti Library Branch in Indiantown. Looking ahead, Treasure Coast Food Bank will consider extending Whole Child Connection program hours so that working adults can better access services during the week. All services will be offered in both English and Spanish.
“Whole Child Connection is an extension of our case management strategy and our pledge to better meet the needs of working families so that they can get vital assistance and keep their jobs,” said Cruz. “We also regard the incorporation of the program as an opportunity for Treasure Coast donors to invest their dollars more wisely as this will reduce duplication of services and eliminate unnecessary administrative costs.”