For a growing number of Brevard residents, whose incomes have been strained by soaring prices for everything from gas to food to housing, there is no way to “make up for their expenses”.
The scene plays out day after day, week after week: people line up for food at local sharing centers and pantries across the county.
Just last week, it was shown again at Fred Pope’s Provincial Park in Palm Bay, where the Palm Bay city office and state representative Randy Vine share Farm Share food distribution.
Fine, who has been involved in other such events over the past two and a half years, saw only about 100 cars lined up to serve food last December, with supplies remaining. He wasn’t sure about scheduling another appointment.
But after receiving calls about inflation and the need for supplemental food, he said his office called Farm Share — and the result, he said, “was amazing.”
This time, the volunteers were ready to distribute food to 500 people. Palm Bay police officers told Fine, the queue stretched for miles.
He said they could have “ditched 2,000 cars” from groceries.
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The one that stands out in my mind is the woman who stopped crying… and said, ‘Thank you,’ said Fine. I haven’t eaten in two days.”
“I just can’t get it out of my head.”
The Vine office will again collaborate with the city and Farm Share for distribution in the park on October 14 and November 15.
There are ways everyone can help, as simple as donating regular food to a local pantry, giving cash gifts big or small, or volunteering at a local engagement center.
And the timing is great.
September is Anti-Hunger Month, a month-long effort to encourage Central Florida residents to take year-round hunger relief action.
What can you do?
1. Donate 30 non-perishable food items representing each day of the month.
2. Host a virtual food engine.
3. Wear orange on September 23 for Anti-Hunger Day
- 4. Donate $30 for 30 Days of Hunger. See some of the suggestions below about groups you can help.
- 5. Purchase from Second Harvest’s Hopeful Spoon production line to support the Culinary Training Program, which provides job skills training and sustainable business opportunities.
- 6. Donate Buy One, Get One (BOGO) deals after shopping.
- 7. Share the word on social media, with hashtags including #HungerActionMonth and #EndHunger.
Throughout the year, the following nonprofits play an integral role in the mission of delivering food to families in need across the Space Coast. Volunteers are always welcome.
Child Hunger Project: Provides weekend meals to combat childhood hunger and malnutrition during the school year. https://thechildrenshungerproject.org. Information: 321-610-1900.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida: A private nonprofit organization that collects, stores, and distributes donated food to more than 500 nutrition partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia. https://www.feedhopenow.org. Information: 407-295-1066.
Farm Share: a nonprofit organization involved with more than 2,000 food stores, churches, schools, and other nonprofits throughout Florida; It hosts fresh, non-perishable food distributions statewide. https://www.farmshare.org. Information: 305-246-3276
North Brevard Charities Engagement Center, Titusville: https://www.northbrevardcharities.org. Information: 321-269-6555.
Central Brevard Sharing Center, Cocoa: https://sharingcenter.org. Information: 321-631-0306.
South Brevard Participation Centre, Melbourne. https://www.mysbsc.org. Information: 321-727-8581.
Aging Matters at Brevard: Serves Meals at the Wheel and Seniors at Lunch Clients: https://agingmattersbrevard.org. Information: 321-639-8770.
United Way of Brevard: Supports nonprofits at the county level. https://online.uwbrevard.org. Information: 321-631-2740.
For a list of individual food pantries at churches and other locations in Brevard County, call 211 Brevard.