Feeding South Florida
Pathfinder Award
Recognizes an individual or group who has uniquely contributed to the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work’s educational mission of educating and serving the public health and social wellbeing of South Florida and, by doing so, has created a path for others to follow.
Feeding South Florida’s (FSF), mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. FSF has the largest service area among Feeding America food banks in the state of Florida, serving 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. FSF’s CEO, Mr. Paco R. Velez responsible for the overall administration, management and leadership of Feeding South Florida in pursuit of its mission, goals and objectives. This includes fiscal accountability, agency relations, personnel management, resource development (food and funds), operations management, public relations, and compliance with applicable laws, regulations, grant requirements, policies and procedures. He oversees the creation of new ideas and initiatives to advance and expand the goals of Feeding South Florida. South Florida Business Journal named Vélez as Ultimate CEO of 2015, as well as a member of the 40 Under 40 Class of 2013, for his accomplishments as CEO of Feeding South Florida. Vélez has increased the number of pounds of food distributed each week to those struggling to put food on the table across Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties from 29.6 million pounds in 2012 to 38 million pounds in 2015. He has increased funding and reduced expenses to ensure a healthy financial position for the organization.