Recently distinguished by Feeding America as one of the top four food banks in the country, Sarasota-based All Faiths Food Bank was recognized for its teamwork-centric culture and cutting-edge methodology—using data to drive its work to ensure resources are allocated with maximum efficiency and innovation. Sandra Frank is one of the driving forces for this recognition. “I have the honor of working with an extraordinary team of talented food bankers who are dedicated to ending hunger in our community,” she says proudly. Continuing to crack the code on child hunger, Sandra channels her inner mystery-solving Velma Dinkley persona of Scooby-Doo to feed the streets of Sarasota and beyond. Get to know the compassionate, witty, Converse-wearing, cheddar-loving woman behind the scenes of the largest hunger-relief organization in the area. 

Describe a recent day in the life:

Wake up at 6 am to “Morning Edition” on NPR (thank you, WUSF). Grind my Kahwa Scirocco beans for a fresh cup, answer emails and make the first to-do list for the day. Head to the Food Bank; meetings throughout the day—e.g., planning large-scale food distributions, expansion of services or sourcing additional food, strategies for the upcoming Campaign Against Summer Hunger, discussions with Feeding Florida about securing more produce, conversations with my board leadership. Maybe walk about the facility, check-in with the team, chat with volunteers. I’m usually out by 6 pm; home to where my wonderful husband greets me at the door with a chilled glass of wine. It’s perfection. We eat dinner together, back on the laptop to finish up the day’s work and get organized for the next day. If I watch TV, it’s going to be something frivolous and entertaining.

Your favorite virtue is. . . Honestycouragecompassionloyaltyintegritygratitudehumilityselflessness – that’s one word, right? 

When you were a kid you dreamed of . . . having Audrey Hepburn’s jawline! Actually, I dreamed of being a scientist or archeologist and I always wanted to fight the good fight.

Your guilty pleasure  . . . Black Sheep Bake Shop’s Gluten-Free Devil’s Food cupcakes – I buy them by the dozens, bring them to the office, deliver them to my friends. They are crazy good!

What is one thing that you will never understand . . .

Child hunger. With all the resources we have, it’s absolutely unforgivable that any child could go hungry in this country.  

If not yourself, who would you be? 

My mother — Indefatigable, energetic, wicked smart, optimistic, compassionate, funny, generous.

For what fault have you been the most tolerant  . . . 

There is so much forgiveness and tolerance right now – this pandemic has traumatized everyone. People seem to be more empathetic and are realizing that every one of us is struggling in some way.   

Your favorite villain in fiction . . . Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer in the original Blade Runner. Tormented, threatening but that “tears in the rain” monologue is wrenching. 

Your favorite villains in real life  . . .  are behind the wheel of a car. Why is it people stop using their turn signals when their feet touch Florida soil? 

My last supper would include  . . . That chilled glass of wine. Definitely corn chips. A very sharp Vermont cheddar.  

Words you use too often . . . “Pivot.” “Unprecedented.” “Year like no other.” 

Your favorite music artists  . . . Eclectic and extensive! Classics of every variety — from Vivaldi, Verdi, Chopin, Bach to Roy Orbison, Dylan, Neil Young, Clapton, Springsteen, Leonard Cohen. I’m a native Detroiter, so definitely Aretha, The Temptations, Smoky Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder. 

If you could undo one invention in the world, what would it be?  We’re all going to say Zoom, right?

What was the funniest thing you remember doing as a kid?  It wasn’t funny back then, but it is now. When I was about four, I ate a bottle of orange-flavored baby aspirin because it tasted just like Sweet-Tarts. I remember it vividly. I pushed a stool over, climbed up on the sink, snagged the bottle
and chugged them down.

Which cartoon character best represents your personal philosophy?

Velma Dinkley — She was the real problem-solver on Scooby-Doo. 

What song best describes your life right now?  

I’m Still Standing – Elton John

What in your mind is the biggest fashion faux pas?   Seriously? I’m sitting here in white jeans and white Chuck Taylors – three weeks before the ‘official’ start of spring. Who am I to talk? SRQ