The Palm Beach County Food Bank (PBCFB) will host its Protein Back to School Food Drive from July 23 to August 6, which will kick off with a drop-off opportunity at the Food Bank’s Lake Worth Beach warehouse (701 Boutwell Road, Suite A-2) on Friday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The “One Can, Two Can. Who Can? You Can!” event will offer locals a chance to support the food bank’s childhood hunger initiatives by donating nonperishable food items.
“Many of the families we see are working multiple jobs in addition to raising their families, and we know that the pandemic has increased the numbers of families needing food assistance,” said Jamie Kendall, PBCFB CEO. “For these families, hunger does not take a vacation or take time off on the weekend. The families we see have children who aren’t sure where they will get their next meal.”
The Palm Beach County Food Bank procures food from grocery stores, farmers, food distributors, wholesalers, and other sources, and provides it to almost 200 local community partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and housing programs. Palm Beach County Food Bank programs reach families, children, and seniors, and connect those in need to available benefits and resources. Partner agencies distribute the products received, including culturally appropriate food and necessities like paper towels and diapers. This process ensures families have access to food when they need it most.
As part of its focus on ending childhood hunger, the PBCFB operates several Food 4 Kids programs in Palm Beach County Schools. Palm Beach County operates the 10th largest school district in the U.S., with more than 60 percent of school-age children eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The Food 4 Kids program is designed to help these students and their families fill nutritional gaps when they leave the classroom for the weekend or school vacations.
“We know that protein is vital for kids’ brain health,” said Kendall. “A healthy diet including high quality sources of protein allows a child’s brain to grow and develop. As we start the next school year, having access to those great protein sources means our students are not only learning at the best level, but also playing sports and making new friends! All of these actions require protein, and we hope the public we help us gather a great stockpile of those resources to share with local students.”
Kendall said the PBCFB is seeking such nonperishable protein as peanut butter and other nut butters; canned tuna, salmon, chicken, chili, and beef stew; nuts and dried fruits; dried or canned beans; and snack-sized protein bars. Other nonperishable items will also be accepted.
In addition to the drive-through kick-off on July 23, the public is invited to drop off donations through August 6 at the Palm Beach County Library (3650 Summit Blvd.) in West Palm Beach; Delray Beach Public Library (14350 Hagen Ranch Rd.); Boca Raton Public Library (20701 95 Ave. S); the North Palm Beach Public Library (303 Anchorage Dr.); the Jupiter Public Library (705 Military Trail); and the Mandel Public Library (411 Clematis St.) in West Palm Beach.
To learn more about the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s One Can, Two Can. Who Can? You Can!” back-to-school food drive, or for general information about food bank services, click here or call 561-670-2518 to learn more.