Dr. Gary Bergeron, a retired physician, conceptualized the idea of A4L in response to the lack of resources available to a growing population of those living with HIV/AIDS. As a part of his estate planning, Dr. Bergeron established the Red Ribbon Charitable Foundation to provide supplemental funding for local HIV prevention and humanitarian care services. Beginning in late 1996 the Foundation focused its efforts on the start of A4L which was incorporated on November 20, 1996. Meal delivery began in June of 1997 and since that date the number of meals delivered has risen to more than 500,000.

Appetite 4 Life is a non-profit organization whose primary focus is providing meals to individuals living with terminal illness. Over the years our mission has continually expanded to a diverse array of related efforts.

Hurricane Ivan ravaged the Pensacola community and destroyed A4L’s Cervantes St. location causing the organization to set up a temporary home in the Community of Christ Church.

Appetite moves into a leased facility at 14 W Jordan St.

A4L opens its Food Pantry Program designed to offer non-perishable food items and prepared meals at a central location to accommodate the rising population of homeless individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.

Appetite was awarded a Pensacola IMPACT 100 grant. This grant allowed A4L to purchase much needed equipment; a refrigerated truck, cargo van, trailer and a double convection oven, hotboxes and catering equipment to expand catering services and allow A4L to rely on its own earned income rather than grants and external funding sources. This grant effectively changed the face of the organization forever.

In May, Appetite 4 Life purchased a facility located at 402 W. Cervantes St. This purchase gave A4L a permanent home with room for future expansion. The building was remodeled and A4L moved its commercial kitchen and administrative offices to its present day location.
The Summer Food Service Program was established to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks to children throughout Escambia County. The program now produces in excess of 1000 meals per day during the summer months.

A4L experienced a devastating fire destroying its kitchen and damaging the administrative offices.

The verbal presentation in front of IMPACT 100 to 728 members was Oct. 14 and the winners of the 5 categories were  announced that evening after the vote. This years grant winners received $104,000. A4L was among the winners and the grant money went to new kitchen equipment needed for growth and expansion!

Appetite for Life’s mission is to provide nutritious, high quality, meals at no charge to persons infected with or affected by HIV/ AIDS and their dependents, other terminal illnesses, elderly and disabled and who are physician or case manager referred.

A4L receives no regular funding from government sources and as a result operates an extremely small staff relying on volunteers for the majority of its workforce.

Meet our Administrative Staff

Celeste Southard,
Executive Director

Marcus Ditty,
Operations Director

Davie Wass,
Catering Assistant

Meet our Culinary Staff

Rita Alvarez,
Executive Chef

Julene Williams,
Sous Chef