Community members wanting to help feed needy families will have opportunities to donate, volunteer and raise funds thanks to a variety of programs through Boca Helping Hands (BHH). A calendar of events are planned during September’s Hunger Action Month to help combat the number of local families who are “food insecure.”
Nearly 155,000 Palm Beach County residents dealt with food insecurity before the pandemic, which increased 29% with an additional 45,000 individuals during COVID. Boca Helping Hands has planned a calendar of events for Hunger Action Month with a suggested activity each day in September. Visit BocaHelpingHands.org/HungerActionMonth for more information.
“Hunger Action Month is a reminder that there are local families and children who do not know where their next meal is coming from and, as a community, we can help,” says Greg Hazle, Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands. “Unfortunately, the resurgence of the pandemic is likely to make matters worse.”
Along with annually distributing more than 80,000 pantry bags, BHH also provides healthcare for uninsured clients, adult education, job training, and emergency financial assistance. Its food programs include the Pantry Bag Program, which offers nonperishable and fresh groceries to clients and a Hot Meal Program providing 90,000 meals a year. The organization also provided more than 5,500 meals to local homebound clients through its Homebound Meal Program.
While the organization reports an annual 10-15% increase in demand for the Pantry Bag Program, the height of the pandemic generated an increase of 40%. The organization recently opened an additional warehouse facility at its main campus in East Boca Raton to help meet the increased demand.