PEMBROKE PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - With Thanksgiving just over a week away, many families find themselves struggling financially this holiday season. A South Florida food bank has also been affected.
7News cameras on Wednesday captured volunteers at Feeding South Florida’s warehouse in Pembroke Park as they wrapped and boxed up pounds of food for many local families’ Thanksgiving feasts.
But this year, the domestic hunger relief organization has about 90 million fewer pounds of food than in 2021.
“The supply is not meeting the demand,” said Paco Velez, the food bank’s president and CEO. “They’re coming to us a lot more frequently because their dollars and their federal benefits are not stretching as far as they used to.”
Feeding South Florida currently distributes food to more than a million people in need. With the rising cost of food, fuel and the pandemic, more and more people are seeking assistance, and far less people are able to donate.
“It’s really impacting our families in a pretty significant way,” said Velez. “They’re having to make a choice between putting a roof over their head or keeping a roof over their head, putting fuel in their car or going out to get food.”
And with a 20% increase in Thanksgiving-related costs, Velez said, donations are needed now more than ever.
“To make sure that our 30 tractor-trailers and box trucks are going out there, picking up the food and getting it on the tables of families,” he said.
Amazon is also helping families during the holidays. The company teamed up with United Way Miami to deliver 1,000 Thanksgiving meal kits to Miami-Dade veterans and families.
“A lot of the families are low-income. A lot of them don’t have the extra resources to be able to provide Thanksgiving meals for their families, so we’re very grateful,” said a United Way Miami spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Sedano’s grocery stores and health care provider LEON are helping families during these difficult times.
They’re teaming up to help reduce food insecurity in South Florida by launching LeonPlus. Members of this program are eligible to receive up to $1,200 a year to use on food at any Sedano’s grocery store.
With so many people facing tough times this holiday season, the Ansin family, the owners of Channel 7, is donating $100,000 to Feeding South Florida through its charity, the Ansin Foundation.
For more information about Feeding South Florida, click here.
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