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August 11, 2011

Hunger in Palm Beach County – WE CAN HELP!

by PBUnitedWay
hunger

Palm Beach County is known for its wealth, culture and beautiful beaches. But hidden amongst it all is a need that is often overshadowed by the seemingly thriving community. Many individuals and families struggle daily and often go hungry.

THE FACTS

  • Since 2007, there has been a 74% increase in the use of food stamps in Palm Beach County.
  • 1 in 3 households earning up to $35,000/year run out of food before having money to buy more.
  • According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap project, 16.8 percent of Palm Beach County residents, or 212,500 people, were considered food insecure in 2009. That means households may at times have had trouble putting nutritious meals on the table.
  • According to Denise Cargill, School District Specialist for Summer Programs, “In Palm Beach County, 52 percent of the entire student population was eligible for subsidized food during the school year.”
  • It is estimated that there are more than 200,000 families that are paying in excess of their income for housing, often forcing families to choose at the end of the month paying rent over purchasing food.  More than 30% of working households in Florida are housing cost-burdened – the highest in the nation.
  • Many food pantries are already struggling to meet the demand – especially from residents who have never needed help before. Agencies are experiencing at least a 50 percent increase in demand for services.

There are many canned food drives during the holidays, but during this time of the year, those in need are often forgotten. To assist with the problem of hunger facing our community, our friends at the Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club are hosting a canned food drive during the month of August.  All cans will be donated to the C.R.O.S. Ministries Food Bank for distribution to individuals in need throughout Palm Beach County. Cans can be dropped off at the Town of Palm Beach United Way (44 Cocoanut Row, M-201, Palm Beach, FL 33401). Your support is most appreciated. Thank you for LIVING UNITED.

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