Palm Beach County Food Bank working at the front lines of local hunger relief
The Palm Beach County Food Bank — created by our community to serve our community — has been there for local families more than ever during the COVID-19 crisis.
Just look at the numbers. Before March 2020, the Food Bank had been distributing an average of 480,000 pounds of food per month to food pantries, soup kitchens and other Palm Beach County feeding sites. That number jumped to 957,000 pounds of food distributed in April and then to about 2 million pounds of food just in June!
At the front lines of getting the food out of the non-profit's Lantana warehouse has been Jeanette Anderson, the Food Bank’s assistant program coordinator. Anderson greets the steady stream of trucks, vans and cars that come through the warehouse’s parking lot to load up boxes of food.
She described what the first few weeks of the shutdown were like:
“That first week some of the food pantries began closing. Some couldn’t use their facilities. Most of their volunteers are elderly, so about a quarter of the agencies closed because they didn’t have the volunteers.”
“Within a couple weeks, people started not working. Some agencies started seeing more people because other agencies were closing. More people need more food. Their lines started getting longer.”
“Nobody was prepared for this. We did the best we could with agencies closing and adjusting schedules. Things got hectic. It will be that way until we get back to normal — if we ever will.”
“(The feeding sites) are doing the best they can with the help they have. They are working long days. Everybody is trying to work as a team, putting in long hours to get the job done.”
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.