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Inaugural Grove Street Block Party supports Bread of the Mighty Foodbank

Bread of the Mighty Food Bank invited the community to join forces in the inaugural Grove Street Block Party, an initiative aimed at tackling local food insecurity. There were many attractions on Thursday including food trucks, live music performances, a vintage market, activities for children and a silent auction including prizes donated by local businesses.

Transforming 10th Avenue into a center of celebration and philanthropy, the event coincided with the Amazing Give, a 12-hour online fundraising effort hosted by the Junior League of Gainesville for local nonprofits. The Bread of the Mighty was able to raise $61,730 for the Amazing Give with 165 donors.

The primary objective of the block party was to provide 500,000 meals to those in need through donations while also raising awareness to the issue of hunger in the community. Attendees also had the opportunity to take a tour of the food bank, which offered a glimpse into the core of the organization's mission.

“We distribute to nonprofits who distribute to the public.” says Sherah English, associate executive director at Bread of the Mighty. “We get to work with the grocery stores and work with the farms to make sure food doesn’t end up in a landfill.”

Bread of the Mighty currently collects, sorts, stores and distributes food to 120 nonprofit organizations in Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties through the Feeding Florida network.

The idea for the block party is credited to executive director of Bread of the Mighty, Patrick Dodds, in a combined effort to garner support and recognition for local businesses and the nonprofit.

Booths were set up by local businesses and vendors and included a range of vintage clothing, specialty food, desserts, plants, jewelry, art and more.

“I didn’t even know that it was happening so I stumbled upon it, but I’m glad that I did,” said Alyssa Reddish, 21, hairdresser in Gainesville. “It was really cool.”

Some customers were brought out to the event with the promises of seeing some of their favorite local businesses as advertised through respective social media accounts.

“I came out here because some of the businesses I follow are out here today,” said Victoria Vo, UF senior.

Signage posted outside of the Bread of the Mighty foodbank during the Grove Street Block Party. (Sabrina Castro/WUFT News)
Shoppers walk and visit local vendors at the Grove Street Block Party. (Sabrina Castro/WUFT News)

Some of the business owners located near Grove Street, like Alexandra Cristobal, participated in the event by bringing their storefronts outside.

“I opened up at the end of last year, and I am new to Gainesville,” said Cristobal, owner of a body waxing and metaphysical studio called a crystalball. “I’m really loving Gainesville and the Gainesville community.”

Pop-up thrift markets have been on the rise in Gainesville with The Florida Vintage Marketbecoming a popular spot for both visitors and vendors whenever it visits town. The vintage market at the Grove St. Block Party was no exception with over a dozen vintage clothing vendors.

“It’s been a way to meet people that I definitely wouldn’t’ve met before,” said Emma Paschal, UF senior and owner of Lucky Penny Vintage. “There’s definitely a real sense of community among the vendors. We all kind of help each other.”

The Grove Street Block Party was able to host first-time pop-up vintage vendors, Noah Humphlett, 19, and Skye Cruz, 17, of Gator Thrift Company.

“Truthfully, I’ve only been doing vintage for a little bit, but I enjoy it,” said Humphlett, who found out about the market on social media. “It’s a good community.”

Sentiments about the community were echoed by clothing and food vendors alike.

“For me, the community aspect of supporting each other is very big,” said Radha Dainton, owner of Radha’s Kitchen. “I think support is what we all need. Support.”

Sabrina is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing