This article, written by Debby Teich, originally appeared in April 2016 edition of Our City Pembroke Pines
It is estimated that more than 785,000 South Florida residents, including more than 280,000 children, aren't sure where their next meal will come from. Alleviating hunger is a critical first step in helping people to achieve economic stability, ultimately leading to long-term success.
A group of Feeding South Florida (FSF) volunteers recently met at the FSF main warehouse in Pembroke Pines to do their part to help stamp out hunger. They participated in the organization’s first-ever 35-hour Sort-A-Thon to celebrate FSF’s 35th birthday.
There were approximately 1,200 volunteers, including FSF President and CEO Paco Vélez, FSF board members and many from Bank of America. They rolled up their sleeves to sort through thousands of food donations and helped load trucks that distributed meals for the hungry. Throughout the 35 hours, they sorted 350,000 pounds of food (291,666 meals).
Bank of America also announced the South Florida results from its 2015 Give A Meal campaign, during which the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave $2 for every $1 donated to Feeding South Florida (up to $75,000 total and up to $1,000 per donation). They presented Feeding South Florida with a $38,895 check, which will assist FSF in providing 233,370 meals for food insecure individuals and families in the South Florida community, where every $1 donated equals six meals.
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. FSF 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, FSF distributes almost 40 million pounds of food annually, serving 785,040 individuals in need of food assistance, including 280,630 children and 150,000 older adults.