Non-profit organization feeds thousands, changes lives in Broward County

Campaign seeks to raise awareness on food insecurity crisis in South Florida.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Since 1985, LifeNet4Families has been known as the emergency room for poverty.  The nonprofit helps people in Broward county experiencing hunger and homelessness.

“Every month, LifeNet4Families has served over 3,000 families and individuals in the community looking for food security,” said Melanie Geddes, President and CEO of LifeNet4Families.

Food insecurity means having limited or uncertain access to nutritious food.  It’s estimated that 210,000 people in Broward county are food insecure, and of that number, nearly 80,000 are children.

“With the rising cost of housing and differences that are happening with healthcare, a lot of families just can’t make it,” said Geddes.

Having experienced food insecurity herself as a child, Geddes helped tailor one of the nonprofit’s hunger relief programs to help kids in crisis.

For two years, LifeNet4Families has been providing what they call “Food for Thought” boxes, which are packed with protein and other essential nonperishable foods and sent to schools throughout the community.

“We’re doing 300 boxes a month and those 300 kids are getting 2 boxes a month,” said Geddes.

In partnership with Publix, Local 10′s own Food for Thought initiative donated enough food to pack 25 boxes and deliver them to Royal Palm Elementary School in Lauderhill.

“We really focus on four areas, education, youth, hunger and homelessness,” said Robyn Hankerson Printemps, Community Relations Manager for Publix.

“So what LifeNet4Families is doing is they’re feeding youth,” said Hankerson. “We are really grateful to be a part of today and packing these meal boxes and getting them into the homes of kids who need it most.”

LifeNet4Families also feeds an estimated 250 people every day through its community kitchen.

To learn more about the services the non-profit has to offer, and ways to support the community, visit

About the Authors:

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.

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.