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Palm Harbor food pantry leader faces fraud charge

The former executive director of FEAST food pantry is accused of embezzling $92,000 in donated funds.
Walter Anderson, 76, faces a felony scheme to defraud charge, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.
Walter Anderson, 76, faces a felony scheme to defraud charge, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Jul. 9

The former executive director of a Palm Harbor food pantry faces fraud charges after deputies said he embezzled more than $92,000 in the organization’s donated funds, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Walter Anderson, 76, was the executive director of FEAST Food Pantry from 2002 until around June 2020, deputies said. He faces one count of felony scheme to defraud, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

FEAST, or “Food Emergency and Services,” is a food pantry in Palm Harbor that provides food and personal care items to families in need in North Pinellas County, according to the organization’s mission statement.

When FEAST’s new president took over, she discovered a bank account in FEAST’s name, according to the Sheriff’s Office. When the president questioned Anderson about it, he said he used the account for personal use and “reimbursed” himself for a loan he gave the organization, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The Sheriff’s Office did not name the current president of the organization. But she is listed online as Jeanne Andrews.

Investigators said Anderson admitted in an interview to using the FEAST account to pay for his own expenses. Those expenses included car repairs, credit card bills, tree services and roof repairs to his home.

Anderson was released from the Pinellas County Jail Tuesday on a bond of $100,000.