PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL— The St. Joe Community Foundation (“Foundation”) grants $46,290 to Food For Thought Outreach through the “Read to Feed” initiative.  Earlier this year, the Foundation and the Walton County School District created “Read to Feed” to benefit Food For Thought Outreach, a local non-profit organization that provides access to food to children in need.  With this program, reading achievements by students in all of Walton County’s elementary schools resulted in a grant from the Foundation to Food For Thought Outreach.

Students at the county’s elementary schools were encouraged to read independently and test their retention by taking accelerated reader tests in the classroom.  For each test they completed with a score of 80% and above they accumulated points throughout the year.  For each successfully completed accelerated reader test accumulated by all Walton County elementary students between January 24, 2022 and May 6, 2022, the Foundation agreed to grant 25 cents to the Walton County based non-profit organization.  In total, Walton County students successfully completed more than 185,000 accelerated reader tests in that timeframe leading to the contribution by the Foundation to Food For Thought Outreach during a check presentation on June 7, 2022.

“As education is one of the pillars of The St. Joe Community Foundation, we are always looking for ways to enhance educational opportunities for local children,” said April Wilkes, Executive Director of the St. Joe Community Foundation.  “We are elated by the success of this program with the Walton County School District to encourage reading and provide a platform for students to give back to their communities.”

“Our mission is to remove the negative impacts of hunger and empower a child to get the most out of their education and development by providing them weekly access to healthy, easy to prepare meals,” said Tiffany Nelson, Founder and CEO of Food For Thought Outreach.  The Read to Feed program brings together our passion for education and our commitment to fighting childhood hunger.  Working with the St Joe Community Foundation and the Walton County School District empowers us to continue to deliver on our mission to serve the children