Health advocate Robin Safley has been named the executive director of the Florida Association of Food Banks (FAFB).
FAFB is a charitable organization that strives to end hunger in Florida, supporting 14 regional food banks that supply food for 2,500 community- and faith-based nonprofits. The organization has more than 31,500 community volunteers as part of its food bank network, feeding 3.6 million hungry people every year, which includes 1.1 million children.
As a community leader in maintaining statewide nutrition and wellness programs, Safley has over 15 years of experience educating people on good health, and over 20 years of experience implementing health legislation throughout the state of Florida.
As executive director, Safley’s role will be to promote awareness of hunger in Florida, acquire food and financial donations, as well as work with state legislators to garner additional support to end hunger.
“Robin brings a wealth of knowledge to our organization which stems from her passion for people along with a strong ability to promote policies that benefit the community’s needs,” said Marcia Conwell, FAFB board member and president and CEO of Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.
Safley previously was director of the Division of Food, Nutrition and Wellness under Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, where she helped develop the Child Nutrition Programs from the Florida Department of Education and The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
The program merged Food Distribution into a new Division dedicated to enhancing the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Program, and the Florida food system.
“She has successfully managed the complex transformation of an enormous program to our department without a hiccup,” Putnam said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “Robin has drastically expanded the summer feeding program, Summer BreakSpot.”
Putnam added that under Safley, 15.5 million meals were served this past summer, nearly a 42 percent increase since the department took over the program in 2012,
“Robin has become a nationally recognized leader in school nutrition,” he said, “and she is frequently sought out to speak on the Florida model.”
As a graduate of Florida State University, Safley holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications as well as a Juris Doctor degree from the FSU College of Law. Safley is also an avid triathlete and mother of two who promotes health in all facets.
“I am excited for the opportunity to merge my work experience and my personal passions together to help create a hunger-free Florida,” Safley said. “This is truly a passion project that I will now have the opportunity to work on year-round.”