Feeding South Florida Meets Unparalleled COVID-19 Demand

Photos courtesy of Feeding South Florida

Feeding South Florida®, the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in South Florida, is working diligently to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and the rapidly evolving and increased food needs of children, seniors, families, and recently unemployed. To do so, the organization needs critical help from the community.

Feeding South Florida has seen a 600 percent increase in demand since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In just the last three weeks, Feeding South Florida distributed over 9 million pounds of food in the quad-county area. Plus, they added another 130 food distributions on top of and above what they normally distribute with partner agencies each week to supplement closed agency sites, schools and meal sites. Fresh produce, protein, dairy and shelf-stable items are available at these distributions. Approximately 160,000 households in the four counties were served by Feeding South Florida.

While the organization is in dire need of volunteers, more sanitation and cleaning supplies, monetary donations give Feeding South Florida the most flexibility to respond rapidly to requests for assistance. With the increased demand and diminished supply, funds allow Feeding South Florida to hire temporary staff, vehicles and food. Feeding South Florida’s COVID-19 response web page at outlines how to help, everything the organization is doing, precautions they’re taking, and much more.

How to Help:

Feeding South Florida and City of Boynton Beach Food Distribution – The organization is adding new food distribution locations to help meet the increasing demand.

Participate in Feeding South Florida’s MealConnect “Extra Helpings” program — With restaurant closings and reduced hours, the incredible heart of the hospitality industry doesn’t disappoint – even now. Feeding South Florida needs help to rescue unused food so it doesn’t go to waste! Feeding South Florida’s Extra Helpings Program connects volunteers with local hotels, restaurants, caterers, schools and other donors to recover perishable food and deliver to agencies for distribution. Here’s how it works:

1. Product is posted on the MealConnect app.
2. Volunteers receive an alert.
3. Food is picked up and delivered to a partner agency.
4. Volunteers + donors feel great about helping the hungry in the community.

Become a volunteer, food donor, or register as an agency to receive food. Contact extrahelpings@feedingsouthflorida.org for more information.

Volunteer to help pack family meal boxes at Feeding South Florida’s headquarters in Pembroke Park and Feeding Palm Beach County headquarters in Boynton Beach. Each location is holding sorting/packing volunteer opportunities Tuesday – Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. To register for a volunteer shift, visit or call 954-518-1818 for the Pembroke Park headquarters, or 561-331-5441 for the Feeding Palm Beach County headquarters.

Donate cleaning and sanitation supplies, volunteer at a special distribution, provide prepared meals (commercial) and logistics support.

What Feeding South Florida is doing: 

  • Coordinating with Feeding America®, Feeding Florida, government agencies, local school districts (including Palm Beach County School District, Broward County Public Schools and Miami-Dade County Public Schools), local county government and local community partners to strategically deploy food resources
  • Scheduling drive-thru distributions in strategic areas throughout the community to supplement closed agency sites, schools and meal sites
  • Working with the Department of Elder Affairs to bridge the meal gap from closed senior congregate meal sites
  • Sourcing prepared meals from food donors and restaurants
  • Providing innovative logistics support to community partners
  • Surveying its network of 300 nonprofit partner agencies to monitor closures, support increased food needs and understand volunteer capacity
  • Working with community stakeholders to recruit volunteers
  • Advocating for federal and state legislation and funding that supports COVID-19 response and recovery

“As with every response to an emergency, Feeding South Florida are ready to serve, but we need the community’s support more now than ever!” said Paco Vélez, president and CEO of Feeding South Florida. “With volunteer cancellations, distribution networks shutting down, and the global threat diminishing resources, community help is imperative. Please take this opportunity to donate, volunteer, and help us in many other ways.”

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