Feeding South Florida®, the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in South Florida, is working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the rapidly evolving and increased food needs of those who are food insecure in South Florida. However, Feeding South Florida, a trusted resource for families that is committed to serving those who needs it most, needs critical help from the community.
While the organization is in dire need of volunteers, more sanitation and cleaning supplies, monetary donations give Feeding South Florida the most flexibility to respond rapidly to requests for assistance. With the increased demand and diminished supply, funds allow Feeding South Florida to hire temporary staff, vehicles and food. Feeding South Florida’s COVID-19 response web page at https://feedingsouthflorida.org/covid19/ outlines how to help, everything the organization is doing, precautions they’re taking, and much more.
There are many ways the public can participate:
· Feeding South Florida and City of Boynton Beach Food Distribution – Thursday, March 19, 3-5 p.m. – Feeding South Florida partners with the City of Boynton Beach for a drive-thru food distribution at the Ezell Hester Center, 1901 N. Seacrest Boulevard, Boynton Beach, Florida 33435 from 3-5 p.m. Fresh produce will be distributed. Media is invited to attend.
· Participate in Feeding South Florida’s MealConnect “Extra Helpings” program — With restaurant closings and reduced hours, the incredible heart of the hospitality industry doesn’t disappoint – even now. Feeding South Florida needs help to rescue unused food so it doesn’t go to waste! Feeding South Florida’s Extra Helpings Program connects volunteers with local hotels, restaurants, caterers, schools and other donors to recover perishable food and deliver to agencies for distribution. Here’s how it works:
- Product is posted on the MealConnect app.
- Volunteers receive an alert.
- Food is picked up and delivered to a partner agency.
- Volunteers + donors feel great about helping the hungry in the community.
Become a volunteer, food donor, or register as an agency to receive food. Contact [email protected] for more info.
· Donate to the Feeding South Florida COVID-19 Response Fund at feedingsouthflorida.org/donate-now/. Now through March 31, every dollar donated will be matched up to $250,000, thanks to Ultimate Software, Inc. and other friends ― with more pledges on the way! This fundraiser can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/donate/2548732795398031/3000476430015417/. Share Feeding South Florida’s Facebook posts, including calls to action for volunteers and its fundraiser.
· Volunteer to help pack family meal boxes at Feeding South Florida’s headquarters in Pembroke Park and Feeding Palm Beach County headquarters in Boynton Beach. Each location is holding sorting/packing volunteer opportunities Tuesday – Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. To register for a volunteer shift, visit https://feedingsouthflorida.org/volunteer/ or call 954.518.1818 for the Pembroke Park headquarters, or 561.331.5441 for the Feeding Palm Beach County headquarters.
· Donate cleaning and sanitation supplies, volunteer at a special distribution, provide prepared meals (commercial) and logistics support.
At this time, Feeding South Florida is bridging the meal gap by providing much-needed food for several food insecure populations. Feeding South Florida is:
· Coordinating with Feeding America®, Feeding Florida, government agencies, local school districts (including Palm Beach County School District, Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools), local county government and local community partners to strategically deploy food resources
· Scheduling drive-thru distributions in strategic areas throughout the community to supplement closed agency sites, schools and meal sites
· Working with the Department of Elder Affairs to bridge the meal gap from closed senior congregate meal sites
· Sourcing prepared meals from food donors and restaurants
· Providing innovative logistics support to community partners
· Surveying its network of 300 nonprofit partner agencies to monitor closures, support increased food needs and understand volunteer capacity
· Working with community stakeholders to recruit volunteers
· Advocating for federal and state legislation and funding that supports COVID-19 response and recovery
“As with every response to an emergency, Feeding South Florida are ready to serve, but we need the community’s support more now than ever!” said Paco Vélez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida. “With volunteer cancellations, distribution networks shutting down, and the global threat diminishing resources, community help is imperative. Please take this opportunity to donate, volunteer, and help us in many other ways.”
To find out how you can help, learn about what Feeding South Florida is doing, safety precautions, and much more, visit https://feedingsouthflorida.org/covid19/.
About Feeding South Florida®
Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Providing support for 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population, its mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts, and transforming lives through innovative programming and education. Feeding South Florida distributed nearly 62 million pounds (51.6 million meals) of food last year, to over 700,000 individuals through direct-service programs and a local network of approximately 300 nonprofit partner agencies. Visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org or call 954.518.1818.