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Hunger relief organization Feeding South Florida sees dramatic drop in food available to distribute

'Every dollar donated ... can provide nine meals,' Feeding South Florida VP says
Food distribution site
Posted at 4:34 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:33:01-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The organization Feeding South Florida aims to keep area families fed during the pandemic.

But the organization said access to food is being reduced, and the public's help is needed to keep food on the table.

Cars with families lined up at the Palm Beach Outlets Monday morning. They were looking for food to put on their table provided by Feeding South Florida.

But leaders of the organization said they are already seeing a change in how much food they can distribute.

"Feeding South Florida has seen a reduction in the amount of food that we are receiving. We went from receiving 160 trailer loads a week of the coronavirus food assistance to about 14 trailer loads a week,” said Sari Vatske, Feeding South Florida Executive Vice President.

Sari Vatske
Sari Vatske of Feeding South Florida says the amount of food they were receiving went from 160 trailer loads a week to about 14.

Those who help feed the hungry are worried, especially with the holidays approaching.

"Food banks are concerned. We are definitely bracing to see what we are calling the 'commodity cliff.' Right now, we are receiving food from the USDA in a few streams [but] come Dec. 31, that's going away," said Vatske.

Food distribution could be cut by 50 percent, but Feeding South Florida said the public can help with the shortage.

Feeding South Florida food distribution

"Contact your federal elected officials, your senators, your representatives. This has to come from a stimulus bill. There has to be additional resources, food, funds coming from USDA," said Vatske.

The organization said it is distributing at sites from Palm Beach County to the Florida Keys.

"We've distributed over 39 million pounds of food just to Palm Beach County alone since March," said Vatske."We are going to continue to do everything that we can to feed families. Every dollar donated to us can provide nine meals."