Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast’s (BGCS) food program is one of its most notable programs to date. Over the last 12 months, 165,000 meals were served to youth in the Pinellas County community. Currently with the summer nutrition program, we provide services for 30 locations daily. A program of this caliber requires great leadership and planning; and these are two skills exemplified in one of the key driving forces behind the food program – Frank Kneen.
Kneen has worked professionally in community nutrition for over 20 years. His experience and expertise help the BGCS food program run like a well-oiled machine. In the 2021-22 school year, BCGS served over 99,000 supper and snack meals to BGCS members. In the upcoming school year, the program is set to increase in size as an eighth Club location opens this fall.
You may wonder how such a modestly sized team can operate such a large-scale program daily. “It’s not the food that’s provides a challenge, it’s the logistics,” states Frank. In the last year, Frank and his team have overcome challenges to ensure more youth in-need don’t go hungry. Last year, it became apparent that the varying school dismissal times impacted students’ ability to receive the meals they needed. To combat this misalignment, Kneen and his team adjusted meal serving windows to better support kids.
“My favorite part of my role is seeing the program work so efficiently,” Frank states. “Food is extremely important; and, when kids are hungry, they can’t concentrate on anything else.”
Kneen’s evident passion for this program lends itself to creating an even larger community impact. Currently, BGCS is gearing up to become and unaffiliated food partner. This means, this robust program could support even more kids through collaborations with other organizations.
With the excitement and passion of Frank and his team, the food program is gearing up to have the best year yet with more growth to come. When asked why he makes such tough work seem effortless, Frank simply states, “the growth of Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast is unlimited, and this year looks very bright!”