State cuts could force Farm Share to stop serving produce to hungry Florida families

Farm Share budget cuts would hurt food banks

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - For Florida's farmers, some of what they can't sell , they give to Farm Share, who then gives it to those Floridians in need of food.

"It's tomatoes, it's potatoes, green beans and melons and all sorts of families and what most families can't afford," Dan Shorter of Feed the Hungry food pantry, at Village Baptist Church, said.

At the food ministry at Village Baptist Church, Shorter said fruit and vegetable  help fill up these boxes every month.

Once a month is when they give boxes out to hungry families.

Those boxes go to hungry families, but the church and the Palm Beach County Food Bank say in the last year, they've been getting less produce.

"For every 7 pounds we were getting a year ago, we're getting one pound now," Shorter said.

Farm Share is facing a $750,000 cut from the state for the second year in a row.  Past cuts forced them to close down two distribution centers, including one in the Glades area.

"It's just terrible because the wholesale distribution part of all the agencies that serve the hungry is already fairly weak," Perry Borman of the Palm Beach County Food Bank, said.

Program leaders say the cut would starve the rest of the state from the produce.  

Farm Share workers say the program could end up only donating food within the Miami-Dade and Broward County area without the money.

"People cry sometimes when we give them a bag of green beans or a bag of potatoes, so that tells you how much it means to them," Shorter said. "Not giving produce and knowing that produce is going to go to waste somewhere, that's horrible."

Food wasted while thousands sit hungry.

Borman of the Palm Beach County Food Bank said they'll have to get more creative to fill the void.

Farm Share expects Governor Rick Scott to make a decision within the next week on the cuts.


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