Mayors’ Feed the Hungry


Started 32 years ago by the Mayor of Sarasota to address the issue of hunger the Mayor’s Feed the Hungry Program was formed as an all-volunteer organization with a mission to collect funds and distribute them during the holiday season. Over the years the program has expanded to include food drives, community feedings and providing food gift cards throughout the year. The problem of hunger is so prevalent in our area that the program is now endorsed by all nine mayors in both Sarasota and Manatee counties as well as the County Commission Chairpersons.

The Mayors’ Feed The Hungry Program is a volunteer organization. No government funds have been used to support the program. We rely upon the generosity of the public for support.

Membership is open to anyone who is interested to help. We are made up of volunteers from different agencies, religious institutions, charitable organizations, civic clubs, and concerned citizens. Services are provided to local communities throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Food and food gift cards are distributed through the local food pantries of our participating member non-profit organizations.

Since 1987 we have collectively given away $3.5 million in food gift cards and over 600 tons of food program to help feed over 600,000 hungry citizens in our local communities.


Joel Swallow, Chairman
Joel has been volunteering with the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program since its inception in 1987. He has been the Chairman since 1991 and has been the driving force behind our campaign to feed the hungry.  Joel’s professional career has been as a financial advisor. He is active in Kiwanis, Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship and in leadership in his church.

Scott Biehler, Executive Director
Scott has been volunteering with the Mayors’ Feed the Hungry Program since 2001.  In 2016 he was appointed as the Executive Director.  Scott’s professional career has been in the high tech industry.  Scott also serves on the board of directors with the Suncoast Center for Independent Living.  Scott is a veteran having served in the US Navy.