Fort Walton Beach Center

About Us

Sharing & Caring opened its doors on January 2, 1985 as an emergency food bank providing a basic staple of foods for needy individuals and families. Originally established in a building donated by the First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach, we relocated to 126 Beal Parkway in June 1992. Our current building and land, leased from First Presbyterian Church, were renovated extensively by volunteer labor and generous donations from the community.

We are an emergency food bank providing a basic staple of foods for needy individuals and families. In addition to food, we provide assistance with prescription medication, personal care items and clothing vouchers.

We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm. We close at 11:00 am on the 3rd Monday on the the third Monday of each month for a general membership meeting and on Federal Holidays.

Sharing & Caring (S&C), Inc. was established in 1984 to be an emergency food bank providing a basic staple of foods for families in need. Fort Walton Beach S&C opened its doors January 2, 1985; Niceville followed in May of 1989; Crestview in July of 1990. Area churches, civic organizations, individuals, and the United Way fund our all-volunteer organization. Sharing & Caring, Inc. is an IRS-approved non-profit, charitable organization.

We Care

Fort Walton Beach's Sharing & Caring is a food source for the needy who qualifies within our guidelines. It is available to anyone who resides within the area of Hurlburt Field on the west to Destin on the East to Eglin AFB on the north.

Clients are greeted by a member of our welcome desk who assists with check in, paperwork, and general inquiries about services. Our trained volunteers then interview each client and perform a complete evaluation of the needs of the individual or family. Finally, our dedicated pantry staff manages our food inventory and fulfills each order based on client requirements.

Our clients include families, children, seniors, the homeless, and those unemployed; they are often referred to us by churches, other social agencies or word of mouth.

Clients may receive pantry items once every 30 days. The food assistance is intended to be a supplement; groceries provided typically supply meals for around three days. We also offer bagged lunches every Friday to those in need.

A basic menu of food staples is given, including canned vegetables and fruits, pasta, beans, rice, canned tuna, peanut butter, eggs, milk, and other products, depending on availability.

Additionally, we dedicate considerable resources to helping clients address their health care needs. Our Pettengill Prescription Program provides individuals with monetary vouchers to be redeemed at local pharmacies. These vouchers oftentimes cover the total cost of their medications or, at a minimum, significantly offset the expense associated with filling their prescriptions.

In addition to groceries provided, baby supplies and personal care products may be available. Availability of these items is contingent upon donations made by the community. They are not part of our standard stock.

Although our primary goal is to provide food for those in need, Sharing & Caring offers outreach services, as well. Through networking, we can often refer a client to other resources for clothing, eyeglasses, household goods, shelter, or job opportunities.

Our partnership with the Okaloosa County Health Department enables us to work together as a team to qualify client needs and provide education about health care options. Through our continued relationship, we promote and support a healthier community.

Statistics

Fort Walton Beach Sharing & Caring fed 15,631 needy people in 2014!!!!!

Our team is always looking for new ways to actively address the needs of those we serve. For instance, each Thanksgiving and Christmas, we raise donations that enable us to provide extra food for holiday meals to families in need.

Over the past 4 years, we have made considerable investments in time and money to adopt technology and implement new and improved client management software. This shift has enabled us to better track and analyze client data, to provide more efficient service, to more accurately report our progress, and to more clearly understand the needs of the community.

Since 2012, Sharing & Caring became a proud sponsor of the Kids Backpack Program to ensure that children who rely upon subsidized meals at school do not go hungry over the weekend. The initiative was a success, and we look forward to our continued involvement in this program by serving as a backup resource to sponsors and schools as needs arise.