Several organizations in Palm Beach County are stepping up to help families struggling with food insecurity as Thanksgiving approaches. On Monday, there will be a food distribution event in Port St. Lucie. Meanwhile, Safebound Moving & Storage, in partnership with the West Palm Beach police department and Cotton Bottom Diaper Bank, gave away 1,000 turkeys and 25,000 diapers at their location on Old Okeechobee Road in West Palm Beach.
According to the organizations involved, many families in the area are currently dealing with food insecurity. The Palm Beach County Housing Authority received 200 of the turkeys for their members or clients. Tavarous Park, with PBCHA, commented on the impact of rising food prices on families, stating that they often see empty refrigerators when visiting homes and that families are unable to afford necessary items.
Cotton Bottom Diaper Bank, whose supplies are stored at Safebound, also provided 25,000 diapers to struggling families. Laura Olympio, the board chairwoman for the organization, mentioned that families often have to make difficult choices between diapers, wipes, and other necessities.
Boca Helping Hands, another organization, held events in five areas of the county to assist residents. Over 13,000 people received boxes filled with everything they needed for a Thanksgiving dinner. The organization has been providing this type of support for the past two decades. Greg Hazle, the executive director, emphasized the dire need in the community, specifically mentioning the increasing number of working poor individuals and families who struggle to purchase basic necessities.
In West Palm Beach, two giveaways took place on Saturday. At the University Preparatory Academy, hundreds of cars lined up to receive turkeys and bags of food. The event was organized by the Urban League of Palm Beach County, which has been hosting the food drive for 22 years. Patrick Franklin, the president/CEO of the Urban League, acknowledged the reality of food disparity and poverty, especially for those who are affected by high inflation and the rising cost of goods and services.
Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach also contributed to the community by giving away 500 turkeys and Thanksgiving sides to those in need. County Commissioner Gregg Weiss and the police department provided assistance during the distribution. Christopher Clarke, one of the organizers, shared his personal experience of homelessness and emphasized the importance of giving back. The high need in the Tamarind Avenue Area was evident, and with inflation and the cost of living increasing, the demand for assistance has skyrocketed.
On Monday, the Treasure Coast Food Bank, in collaboration with the St. Lucie Mets and the Amazin’ Mets Foundation, will distribute holiday meals to people in St. Lucie County at Clover Park. Approximately 750 households are expected to receive holiday meal boxes and turkeys during the distribution, which will take place from 8-11 a.m. or until the food runs out. These efforts aim to provide support and relief to those in need during the holiday season.