As over 1.2 million individuals throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties experience food insecurity this Thanksgiving season, Feeding South Florida launched its “Share Food. Share Joy” campaign to provide various ways for the community to help those in need during the holiday season. Through volunteer shifts, food and fund drives, and other initiatives, residents can help ensure those who experience food insecurity can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.
In South Florida, one in nine individuals is uncertain about where to receive their next meal. Feeding South Florida is encountering an unparalleled surge in supplying nutritious food to more than 1.2 million people because of inflation, a strained supply chain, increasing fuel prices, and rising housing costs.
“Thanksgiving is one of the most challenging times of the year for families who struggle to make ends meet,” Paco Vélez says, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida. “This holiday season, we’re offering various ways where the community can come together to help make this Thanksgiving memorable for South Florida families by giving them the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with a nutritious meal.”
Feeding South Florida aims to provide turkeys, sides, and all the fixings to 7,000 families in South Florida in time for Thanksgiving. The organization is encouraging the community to contribute to this effort by selecting one of the available options before Nov. 17:
- Donate one turkey to a family: $30
- Donate one turkey and sides to a family: $50
- Donate four turkeys to four families: $100
During this holiday season, individuals and organizations in the community are encouraged to host Food + Fund Drives to collect non-perishable food items and raise funds. The food drives will only accept non-perishable items, and it is requested that items that are already in packed cases, cartons, or boxes remain unopened. Glass jars or expired items will not be accepted. Special items that can make a family’s Thanksgiving brighter, such as gravy mix, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, stuffing mix, mashed potato mix, pie filling, pie crust, and cornbread mix, are also appreciated.
The most-needed general food drive items include peanut butter, cereal, mac and cheese, pasta, rice and beans, canned soups, canned protein, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meals, pop-top food items, fruit cups, applesauce, diapers, baby formula and feminine products.
Donors can drop off their donations at Feeding South Florida’s headquarters in Pembroke Park or at Feeding Palm Beach County’s headquarters in Boynton Beach. Donations can be delivered between Monday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and dropped off at the front desk area. If the donation is 1,000 pounds or more, donors must contact Feeding South Florida beforehand to make special arrangements.
To learn more, please visit Feedingsouthflorida.org/food-fund-drives/.
An excellent opportunity awaits the community to lend a helping hand in feeding the families of South Florida by volunteering for the hands-on efforts:
- Sorting & Packing Experience: Volunteers are invited to inspect, sort, and repack donated food to prepare it for community distribution at the headquarters of Feeding South Florida in Pembroke Park and Feeding Palm Beach County in Boynton Beach. Sorting and packing volunteer opportunities are available at both locations from Tuesday to Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m.
- Community Kitchen Experience: Volunteers can participate in meal preparation, cooking, and packaging at Feeding Palm Beach County’s Community Kitchen hosted by Feeding South Florida. Regardless of their experience in the kitchen, all individuals are welcome to participate in these volunteer opportunities.
For more information and to sign up for a volunteer shift, please visit Feedingsouthflorida.org/volunteer/.
A $1 donation to Feeding South Florida can provide four meals to a family experiencing hunger. To make a monetary donation in any amount, please visit Feedingsouthflorida.org/donate/.
Photo courtesy of Feeding South Florida