MARGATE, Fla. – With the latest coronavirus stimulus package still stalled in Congress as the nation continues to absorb the economic impacts of COVID-19, food insecurity remains on the rise. That means the number of people who say they can’t afford enough food for consistent meals is growing.
The need so great that one group of volunteers is already starting a Thanksgiving food drive and needs your help.
At Florida Career College in Margate, volunteers sort through donated items to prepare Thanksgiving meal kits. Yes, while it may seem early for that, organizers say the need in our community has intensified.
The college has partnered with the nonprofit 100 People Project to get ahead of the anticipated demand come November.
Last year, a Map the Meal Gap report put South Florida’s food insecurity rate at 12% — that’s more than 500,000 people not knowing where they will get their next meal.
Then came COVID-19 and the related economic impacts, forcing more families into food insecurity.
Feeding South Florida says about 50% of the families at drive-through distribution sites were seeking food assistance for the first time.
Hit especially hard are households with children, according to the Brookings Institution, which charts a steady increase of food insecurity since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, especially among Black and Hispanic households.
That’s why community food drives like this one say they need your help.
How to help
For viewers who might want to support the effort, all seven South Florida-area Florida Career College locations are accepting donated items from the public until Nov. 20. Drop-off times are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Non-perishable food items that can be donated include:
- Canned vegetables (corn, green beans, yams, sweet potatoes)
- Boxes of instant mashed potato mix
- Boxes of stuffing mix
- Canned cranberry sauce
- Boxes of macaroni and cheese
- Boxes of cornbread mix
- Cans of soup
- Gravy mix or canned gravy
All donated items will be sorted into Thanksgiving meal kits and distributed to families in need at a drive-through food giveaway being held at the Margate campus before Thanksgiving. People can also make financial contributions to 100 People Project, which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.