Lois's Food4OurKids program helping more children than ever

Life changed in March for everyone in our community, but the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s dedication never wavered when it came to ensuring local children had enough to eat over the weekends. 

With more than 60 percent of Palm Beach County’s school-age children qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches, sometimes the only meals they get are the breakfasts and lunches at school. That’s why the Food Bank created Lois’s Food4OurKids program, which provides bags of food for 575 students at seven local elementary schools to take home so they have enough to eat over the weekends. 

Once schools closed in March, the Food Bank needed to not only find a new way of getting food to those children, but a way to meet demand - which had dramatically increased as parents started losing their jobs. 

Ana Maldonado, the coordinator of Lois’s Food4OurKids program, described what happened next: 

“We were blessed enough to have other partners interested in providing meals and we shifted from schools to seven Boys and Girls Club of Palm Beach County locations and got help from Martha’s Kitchen. Martha’s Kitchen delivers the bags to homes and leaves them at the doorsteps. 

“We more than doubled the amount of bags -- 1,300 -- distributed every week. For one of our sites -- 200 bags-- are gone in two hours," Maldonado added. "Based on what we’re hearing from the community, they are getting more and more people needing help. The need is immense."

Maldonado noted that the need to adjust continues as the pandemic continues.

“We are actively coming up with solutions with our changing reality. At the same time, we are digesting our reality. We’re constantly adapting day-to-day. It changes hourly sometimes. As soon as you start feeling one emotion, you have to move to something else. We’ve been seeing some beautiful acts of kindness and generosity.” 

“I think now more than ever, it’s nice to know our mission continues to be to feed these children. This is something they can rely on.” 

About Healthy, Safe, Strong Stories

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County continues to serve local children and families with the same mission that’s motivated us since 1986: to keep our county’s children healthy, safe and strong. This #HealthySafeStrong series highlights the vital work our providers are doing, and reminds Palm Beach County families that Children’s Services Council is here for you. To contact Children’s Services Council, please click here.