In honor of Hunger Action Month, we’re shining light on our George Jenkins End Hunger Initiative. Through this initiative, we have 21 healthy food pantries across Polk, Hardee and Highlands counties.
As the need for food has increased, we have been working to meet the need, providing healthy food items to local families. And it’s been helping! We currently serve around 400 families each month through these mobile food pick-up sites. One of our current partners is Central Florida Health Care, which helps to organize 10 or our 21 sites.
How can you help?
The easiest way to help from home – donate! United Way of Central Florida works with dozens of local organizations that lead the fight against hunger. By donating you are amplifying our collective impact in the community. For example, a local food pantry can stretch five dollars into twenty dollars through bulk purchasing.
Write a lawmaker
There are many year-round anti-hunger programs that could use more support. You can help keep these important programs in place and encourage lawmakers to pass policies that prioritize access to healthy foods for families by writing letters or calling our local lawmakers. Here are a few suggestions on what to advocate for:
- Protect access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s largest anti-hunger program. SNAP provides access to food for those who cannot afford it. It’s an important temporary lifeline for millions of Americans – mostly children, seniors and veterans.
- Support the Child Nutrition program reauthorization. Call on Congress to protect and strengthen access to these programs to ensure all kids can be healthy and thrive.
- Ask to increase funding for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), a program that stabilizes families when their incomes and assets are limited and ensures babies, mothers, children and families have access to nutritious food in tough times.
George W. Jenkins End Hunger food pantries need volunteers to sort food and pack boxes. Our distributions are drive-thru pickups so we need volunteers to put items in boxes and place them in vehicles. Please sign up online so our team knows you will be joining us.
Meal delivery to seniors
More seniors are unable to go to the grocery store, so the need for home-delivered meals is growing. Delivered meals help seniors in need maintain a well-balanced diet and stay healthy. One of our partner agencies, VISTE, provides and delivers meals to seniors. Contact them to volunteer!