Opening Coincides with Feeding South Florida’s 35th Anniversary
In response to the growing needs of the Palm Beach County community and its increased efforts to end hunger throughout South Florida, Feeding South Florida™, member of the Feeding America network and largest/most efficient food bank in Palm Beach County, is opening its new Palm Beach County branch, Feeding Palm Beach County®. The branch will be based in a 25,644-sq.-ft. facility, located at 4925 Park Ridge Boulevard, Boynton Beach, 33426, conveniently located off I-95 and Gateway Boulevard with an additional two acres of land to allow for future expansion.
The debut of Feeding Palm Beach County coincides with Feeding South Florida’s 35th anniversary of service to Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.
For the past 25 years, Feeding South Florida occupied the former Cheney Brothers, Inc. facility in West Palm Beach. However, in nearly doubling its output of food to Palm Beach County from 5 million meals (6 million pounds) in 2012 to more than 9.1 million meals (11 million pounds) in 2015, the organization needed a space that could handle the increased volume of food and grocery products. It also required a space that would provide a resource center and innovative programming for Feeding Palm Beach County’s partner agencies and the families they serve.
“Having served the South Florida area for 35 years, we are very pleased to expand with our new branch and facility in Palm Beach County,” said Feeding South Florida President and CEO Paco Vélez. “This new facility will help us make a greater impact on the lives of those facing hunger and poverty in Palm Beach County, where through direct service programs and a network of more than 100 nonprofit partner agencies, we serve 202,110 individuals — 63,660 of whom are children — who are struggling to put food on the table.”
The installation of a new cooler/freezer in the Boynton Beach facility will enable Feeding Palm Beach County to store more fresh produce, lean protein, and dairy for families struggling to put food on the table. The warehouse also provides the ability to install three-tier racking for optimal utilization of space and implementation of inventory best practices to ensure first in, first out (FIFO). The facility includes two covered bay doors with space for tractor-trailers.
The facility will provide 10 volunteer shifts per week, available for individuals and groups to help sort food and grocery items. From Tuesday–Saturday, volunteer shifts take place twice a day from 8:30–11:30 a.m. and 1:30–4:30 p.m. A community room, complete with a projector, Wi-Fi, tables, chairs, and computers, are available to community groups to host team-building activities and off-site retreats. For more information, visit feedingsouthflorida.org/ways-to-help/.
Feeding Palm Beach County’s Community Kitchen is a commercial production kitchen designed to serve several purposes:
- Output of nutritious and healthy meals for summer food service
- Output of nutritious and healthy meals for afterschool meals
- Support of other meal-delivery programming
- Serve as a culinary training program with job placement upon graduation
- Provide nutrition education and life skills to families
- Provide catering services as part of a social enterprise that would employ graduates of the culinary training program
As part of its mission to end hunger in South Florida, Feeding Palm Beach County goes beyond food distribution and begins to break the cycle of hunger and poverty with a Life Skills Center and Community Kitchen known as “The Kitchen Table.” Programming includes:
- Client Choice Pantry: Each client will fill out the necessary paperwork to ensure eligibility for the program. Clients will participate in nutrition education classes, cooking classes, budgeting or financial literacy classes and an orientation on how the Client Choice Pantry system works. Clients will earn more points (meaning the opportunity to access more food) with each class they complete.
- Nutrition Education: Core elements include nutrition for all, targeting children, adults and seniors. The curriculum has four core elements according to the USDA guidelines: dietary quality, healthy cooking, food safety and food budgeting.
- Financial Literacy: This program will help families gain useful knowledge and skills such as managing a checking account, budgeting, saving, investing, and shopping on a budget.
- Family Dining: This program offers families the opportunity to bring back the dinner time experience in a fun, educational and nutritious way. Small groups of families and individuals will gather at the Kitchen Table. They will work together to accomplish the following: create a nutritious meal for all attending; share in fellowship while preparing the meal; learn nutritious facts about the meal being prepared; sit, eat and spend time as a “family” around the dinner table; and leave with a bag of ingredients used to prepare the shared meal.
- Benefits Assistance (SNAP, TANF, Florida KidCare)
- Computer Skills Training: This program provides a basic computer skills overview so clients will learn the following skills: navigating the Internet and e-mail; learn the basics of Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Outlook PowerPoint; and resume writing.
For more information about Feeding Palm Beach County, visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org.
About Feeding South Florida™
Feeding South Florida’s 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™ is the sole Feeding America food bank in South Florida, and the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in the region, serving 25 percent of the state’s food insecure population. Through a local network of approximately 350 nonprofit partner agencies, Feeding South Florida distributes almost 40 million pounds of food annually, serving 785,040 individuals in need of food assistance, 280,630 of whom are children, and 150,000 are older adults, throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. For more information, visit www.feedingsouthflorida.org or call 954.518.1818.