Stephen Shelly became a resident of Homestead in 2004, opening a
successful law practice in 2006. With his outgoing personality and
dedication to “making the world a better place,” Shelley became an active supporter of many non-profit organizations and community service clubs as well as entering the local political scene.
His wife Jenn, introduced him to Farm Share, a Homestead-based, non-profit that distributes fresh food free of charge to families, children, seniors and individuals in need throughout the entire State of Florida. They also distribute to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, migrant farm workers and food banks. Farm Share feeds tens of millions of people state wide, and distributes more than 76 million pounds of healthy and nutritious food annually.
When the COO position opened in 2016, Shelley was hired with the idea that he would eventually lead the organization when its founder, Patricia Robbins chose to retire.
This week, Shelley was officially named the Chief Executive Officer of Farm Share, representing our community proudly both as CEO of Farm Share and as Mayor of the City of Homestead.
Shelley said, “Before joining Farm Share, I enjoyed practicing family law for 10 years, it had some very positive moments.” He went on to say that “the purpose of Farm Share is 'Feeding Florida Families' where no person should go
hungry.” Knowing that Farm Share lives up to that statement, which he will carry forward, Shelley added, “there is fulfillment in helping those in need and I still get to use my legal skills in negotiating contracts.”
With five large warehouses throughout Florida, Shelley might expect a bit more travel as he plans to take Farm Share to the next level.
“In 2016 we distributed 33 million pounds of food. That amount has risen to 76 million pounds per year,” he said.
Farm Share has hit some recent snares with the continued loss of farming in South Florida due to negative trade agreements.
“We rely on donations from our farms, brokers and re-packers. Cuts in government funding has put some additional pressure on us to find other sources such as private donations. The USDA has made other farm products available with purchases to subsidizes the farming industry donations during trade mitigation," said Shelley.
Shelley and his wife Jenn are active in the community. To his credit, Steve has served or is serving as the chairman of the St. Johns School Board; a member of the Rotary Club of Homestead; a member of the Military Affairs Committee; Vice Chairman of the Florida National Parks Association, the official non-profit arm of the National Park Service for Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Dry Tortugas National Park. In addition, Shelley donates his time and pro bono legal services to other nonprofits throughout Homestead and South Dade.