West Palm Beach, Fla. (November 23, 2016) –
United Way of Palm Beach County is pleased to share that its Hunger Relief Plan, launched and approved by the Board of County Commissioners a little over a year ago, has helped to improve the lives of 767 food insecure children. The Jim Moran Foundation has awarded funding for a Weekend Feeding Program that will provide nutritious meals for kids on Saturday and Sunday. The gift of $556,690 is a three-year commitment that will ensure a long-term, positive impact. These elementary school students in Belle Glade and Wellington are enrolled in the school district’s free or reduced-fee lunch program during the week, but until now, had no guarantee of a full meal on the weekend.
The Weekend Feeding Program, a collaboration between United Way of Palm Beach County and PanFlorida Challenge, is a direct result of the Hunger Relief Plan. A committee focused on childhood hunger, led by Vice President of Hunger Relief Danielle Hanson, discovered the issue and quickly went to work to find a food distributor that would deliver these meals to the children in need. The collaboration caught the attention of The Jim Moran Foundation.
“The Weekend Feeding Program is one of five special grants we funded to honor what would have been my husband’s 98th birthday,” said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation. “Always the first to reach out with a helping hand of hope and opportunity, I know making sure children and families had enough to eat would be close to Jim’s heart.”
Effective immediately, kid-friendly and nutritious food items will be delivered to Canal Point Elementary, Glade View Elementary, Gove Elementary, Rosenwald Elementary and the Boys and Girls Club in Wellington for participating children every Friday afternoon. The “PFC Super Power Packs” include a sixserving, nutritious meal so that the entire family eats healthy all weekend long, as well as during holiday breaks.
“We don’t feed kids to stop hunger pains. We believe we hold a rare opportunity to lift children up out of generational poverty through creating access to their education by feeding them. The problem is local, right here in our backyards,” said Ed Mullen, President, Chairman and Founder of Pan-Florida Challenge. “We are proud to partner with the United Way of Palm Beach County and The Jim Moran Foundation to feed 767 “empty refrigerator” children for three years in the Glades and Wellington. The PFC Super-Power Pack is a scalable program that will help to end the silent epidemic of hunger among our local kids, and get them back to school on Monday morning ready to learn.”
There are an estimated 210,000 Palm Beach County residents who are food insecure and 64,000 of those are children. United Way Hunger Relief workgroups are continuing to look at other issues related to childhood and senior hunger, infrastructure and logistics, and building a new food distribution center in Belle Glade to improve efficiencies within the food distribution system.
“This generous gift will enable these children to learn and thrive in school, instead of worrying about when their next meal will come. It is an extremely meaningful example of how United Way’s Hunger Relief Plan is inspiring meaningful collaborations like this and starting to have a significant impact on the issue of hunger in Palm Beach County,” said United Way CEO Dr. Laurie George.