Star of the Sea Foundation helps families in the Florida Keys this Holiday season

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Keys is a beautiful vacation destination for so many around the world. But for those at home, the ebb and flow of tourism makes living in paradise pricey.

When income is tight, Florida Keys workers can find relief at St. Justin the Martyr Church, where Star of the Sea Foundation helps the community.

“When we’re out of season which is usually the summer months and through September, it’s just a little more difficult to make ends meet because there’s not that steady income,” said Lisa Niederman, Director of Programs, Star of the Sea Foundation.

It is the largest food non-profit organization in the Florida Keys and it runs a weekly food distribution.

“We are a client choice food pantry which means that clients can walk through the pantry and choose what items they want to take. This is a great way to reduce food waste. Over the past few months, we’ve been seeing an average of 130 families per week,” said Niederman.

That is a 30 percent increase from last year. While demand has increased, individual giving and government food allotments have not.

“Our donations have gone down about 40 percent since last year. We would really appreciate a strong community support this holiday season,” said Niederman.

Star of the Sea needs shelf-stable Thanksgiving items to supplement the food they already receive, to help provide a complete Holiday meal to the families it serves.

On Friday, the foundation will be at the Publix in Key Largo, at 101437 Overseas Hwy (Tradewinds Plaza) Key Largo, FL, 33037-4505, to receive non-perishable donations.

To find out how you can help the South Florida community, visit our “Day of Giving” page by clicking on this link.

About the Authors:

Betty Davis is the chief certified meteorologist for Local 10. She provides weather forecasts for South Florida Monday-Friday during the 4, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. 

Mayte Padron Cordones is an Emmy-award winning journalist and the director of WPLG's Community Relations Department, overseeing the station's outreach initiatives to benefit and strengthen the South Florida community.