Food For Thought ready to serve Okaloosa County

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
From left to right: Food For Thought board members Chad and Jennifer Knaepple, Jon Kazek with DKM Builders, Food For Thought Executive Director Tiffanie Nelson, Destin Rotary members Jeanne Dailey and Jason Belcher and Destin City Manager Greg Kisela stand in the newly finished pantry.

Local non-profit organization Food For Thought celebrated a ribbon cutting and grand opening event Wednesday at their new pantry location at 908 Airport Road in Destin.

The non-profit works with 15 local schools in Walton and Okaloosa counties to help fight childhood hunger. The group provides backpacks filled with healthy, easy to prepare food to students who are dependent on free or re-duced school meals during the times they are away from school such as weekends and school holidays.

“This gives us roots in Okaloosa County,” said Food For Thought Founder and Executive Director Tiffanie Nelson. “We will now have a place to run functions in Okaloosa County in the future and have a place for the community to come volunteer and get to know what we do here at Food For Thought because we truly depend on them for their time and donations.”

The new location, which was once slated to be a strip club, has now been transformed to a state-of-the-art food pantry. After four months of renovation and construction, the building now boasts a large pantry, a sizable front lobby, an office, a full kitchen and a bathroom.

“The support from the community and subcontractors and DMK Builders is what really made this project possible,” said Rotary Club President Jeanne Dailey, who helped raise money for and worked on the project. “To think of what this was going to be and the 180 it is now, it is such a positive place for the community.”

Nelson said that Food For Thought did not have to pay a dime in the renovation project for the building and gave thanks to the many community groups and local companies that gave time, money and resources to make the new location a reality.

“We are so grateful to be here in this newly renovated almost 2,000-square foot facility and we are deeply grateful to the Destin Rotary Club, to Jon Kazek, to the city of Destin and to the Destin Chamber and Destin For-ward class for their contributions to this project,” Nelson said. “They helped us to raise over $37,000 and over $200,000 in in-kind donations to complete this project.”

For more information about Food For Thought or to donate or volunteer, visit www.fftfl.org.