(PRESS RELEASE)_(Lake Worth Beach, Fla.) – With more than 132,000 Palm Beach County residents – including nearly 40,000 children -- facing hunger every day, the Palm Beach County Food Bank (PBCFB) is raising awareness of the issue during September’s Hunger Action Month with several activities open to the public.
“We hear stories all the time of residents who are compromising things like their healthcare, electrical bill or new tires on their car in order to put food on the table,” said Jamie Kendall, PBCFB CEO. “They shouldn’t have to choose one or the other. In our 2022-2023 fiscal year, we distributed more than 11 million meals. Our high volume of food distribution reflects that our neighbors are still rebounding from COVID, inflationary struggles, housing costs and seniors who are at a fixed income whose savings cannot keep up with increasing prices. Our need in Palm Beach County is great and the situation is becoming dire. Our September events are meant to raise awareness, along with food and funding donations.”
The PBCFB procures food from grocery stores, farmers, food distributors, wholesalers and other sources, and distributes it to almost 200 local community partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens and residential housing programs. Its 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 that local Palm Beach County residents have access to food when they need it most.
Because orange is the official color of hunger, many of the PBCFB Hunger Action Month events incorporate an orange theme, and the public is encouraged to wear orange throughout the month, but especially on Hunger Action Day – Saturday, September 23.
“Just by wearing orange, you can spark an important conversation about hunger,” continued Kendall. “This month, we ask everyone in our community to unite by joining hands and hearts as Hunger Heroes to end food insecurity in Palm Beach County. No action you take is too small.”
Throughout September, Downtown Palm Beach Gardens will host “The Giving Table” to collect non-perishable food items. A striking orange table with six chairs will be strategically placed near Whole Foods at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens. The sixth chair will be white, showcasing a stark fact — that every sixth child experiences some form of food insecurity. The public is invited to donate nonperishable food items and all items collected will be distributed to the PBCFB.
On Friday, September 22, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., The Square in downtown West Palm Beach will “Light the Night” in orange, in honor of the PBCFB and United Way Palm Beach County. Guests should look for tables near the fountain with information on Hunger Action Month activities – including opportunities to participate in September’s Empty Bowls event and other ways of raising awareness.
On Saturday, September 23, which is designated as National Hunger Action Day, guests can watch The Breakers Palm Beach light up in orange to honor the 132,000 food-insecure residents in Palm Beach County.
Then the following weekend, on Saturday, September 30, guests are invited to be a ‘soup-er’ supporter by attending the widely-celebrated Empty Bowls in the Gardens! Hosted at Downtown Palm Beach Gardens, guests can enjoy a simple meal of soup from local restaurants, freshly baked goods, bottled water, and an empty ceramic bowl to signify the many bowls in Palm Beach County that need filling. Participating restaurants include Avocado Cantina, Café Chardonnay, Old School Bakery, Pero Family Farms & Produce, Laura Ashley Catering & Events, Lili’s Café, Brick & Barrel Pub, Carmine’s La Trattoria, The Breakers, Jupiter Grill and more. General tickets are $35 and VIP admission is $60, with all of the proceeds benefiting the Food Bank.
“We really hope to see a sea of orange in Palm Beach County this month,” concluded Kendall, “and inspire the community to host a food drive, attend one of our events, volunteer at our Food Bank or with one of our partners, or visit our website for more information in many small steps you can take with your family. Together, we can nourish our neighbors in need and alleviate hunger in Palm Beach County!”
For more information about PBCFB, or Hunger Action Month activities throughout September, please visit pbcfoodbank.org.
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