To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.
Responsible for feeding Floridians millions of pounds of farm-fresh produce, Patricia Robbins Alger and the
good people at Farm Share are putting South Florida philanthropy on the map.
TEXT BY RYAN JARRELL
I t was a chance encounter that ended up nurturing millions.
Gainfully retired from a full life of domestic bliss, banking
and seafood shipping, Patricia Robbins Alger was in need
of a valued vocation. Employed since the age of 15, traveller
of the world and lover of her home state of Florida, Robbins
knew that the reticent life was not for her. Heading south,
she found herself caught behind a dump truck teeming with
farm-fresh vegetation. Pulling into the market, she inquired
as to its ultimate destination. Apparently, it was, for whatever
reason, bound for the dump. Crestfallen, certain that that
simply would not do, Alger began formulating a plan. And the
rest, as they say, is history.
Today, she is the Founder, President & CEO of Farm Share, an
organization responsible for providing a staggering 51,893,761
lbs. of food to Florida residents last year alone. Alger’s story
as a compassionate advocate for the hungry began in the most
unlikely of places: the humble family farm of her grandmother,
Florence Pitts. “From the age of 11, it was just my grandmother
66 and I, and she was older and not in the best of health but she
was able to keep everything going for us,” says Robbins. “We
had a milk cow, cattle, pigs, chickens...all the things a family
farm would have. She was so generous and so well-respected,
even though we didn’t have much. She was my hero.”
Boldly embodying the persistent spirit of this matriarch,
Robbins has spent her life plumbing the limits of what society
believes a woman can (or should) do. And whether it’s piloting
cargo planes full of seafood from the Caribbean (an occupational
pursuit she put to rest after she barely walked away from a dicey
in-air situation) or providing nutritionally dense and nutritious
foods to our most vulnerable and malnourished populations,
Robbins has one no-nonsense solution to righting the wrongs
of our society: Simply don’t take no for an answer. “We started
with just a notepad and a pen,” says Alger, whose first calls to
local farmers netted 16,000 pounds worth of food. “If we had
all the money we needed, there’s no telling how many people
we could help!”; FarmShare.org.