Reducing Hunger in Our Community During Food Waste Prevention Week: April 2023 Hunger Relief Update

Posted April 5, 2023

April 10-16 is Food Waste Prevention Week

In the U.S., nearly 40 percent of our food supply is never eaten. What’s the best approach to reducing food loss and waste? To not create it in the first place!

Food waste prevention saves money, protects the environment, and reduces hunger in our communities. With 1 in 5 Americans lacking consistent access to nutritious food, recovering food from being wasted is a critical way to feed the hungry in our communities.

Follow us on social media for Food Waste Prevention Week tips and other opportunities. To learn more about how you can reduce food waste, please click here.

United Way’s Taxes Filed Free Program

United Way of Palm Beach County has partnered with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide free, confidential, and secure preparation and e-filing of tax returns to qualified taxpayers. To qualify, taxpayer’s income must have been $70,000 or less in 2022. You may be eligible for up to $6,935 in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). The Taxes Filed Free service gives you two options to choose from to e-file your tax return. All options are supported by IRS-Certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers.

Filed for You – Face-to-face tax preparation provided at several county sites. No appointment needed.

Filed Yourself – Visit and file your own tax return. It’s simple, fast and secure. Support is available via toll-free helpline or web chat.

For more information on where to find a VITA tax site, or what to bring to your tax filing session click here.

Food Resources

Palm Beach County Senior Centers: The Palm Beach County Community Services Department’s Division of Senior and Veteran Services invites local seniors and veterans aged 60 and older to participate in complimentary breakfast and lunch options at various sites throughout the county. The program provides nutritious meals to eligible seniors at nutrition sites, senior centers, and other group settings. The congregate meal program allows older adults to socialize with other seniors at the meal sites. For a complete list of meal times and locations, click here.

SNAP Online Shopping: Online shopping is a convenient, safe, secure way to shop for food, and quickly becoming a vital resource for nutrition security and food access. Major retailers nationwide continue to make online SNAP purchasing available for EBT card holders. For more information about the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot and to find a retailer in Florida offering this resource, click here.

SNAP Calculator: Find out if you may be eligible for SNAP and an estimated amount of benefits you could receive. Use the SNAP Calculator as a quick screening tool to determine possible eligibility for food assistance. The calculator was previously available in English and Spanish and has been recently updated to include Haitian Creole! Access the SNAP calculator here. Florida Policy Institute (FPI) urges you to apply for SNAP regardless of what the calculator says. To do so please submit an application to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) at this link.

Providers App: Propel, a mission-driven financial technology company, has launched Providers, an application that helps low-income families navigate government benefits and monitor skimming. If you’ve been a victim of benefits theft, report it immediately to your case worker and law enforcement. Currently, more than five million SNAP (food stamp) participants use Fresh EBT monthly to manage their benefits. The app is available on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. For more information, click here.

Matching Excess And Needs for Stability (MEANS) Database: MEANS Database is an online platform connecting those with excess food, like grocery stores, co-ops, and restaurants, with nearby emergency food providers who serve those in need. Their organization focuses on reducing food waste and rerouting that food to feed people facing food insecurity. To learn more, please visit their website.

Shop Simple with MyPlate: Shopping for healthy foods doesn’t have to break the bank. This nifty tool allows you to find savings in your area and discover new ways to prepare budget-friendly foods. It works by entering your zip code to find rewards and stores that accept SNAP EBT near you. To find out more, please click here.

United Way of Palm Beach County Food Finder Map: The best way to access emergency food is through your local food pantry. UWPBC’s Food Finder Map is updated weekly and has been viewed over 236,000 times! Anyone looking for food or helping others find food is encouraged to look up locations on the map. You can also get help finding food locations by calling 2-1-1.

A robust food pantry system is the best way to ensure people can access emergency food. Pantries rely mainly on food from local food banks and other donations. Inflation and the end of many COVID-era food programs have decreased contributions and food available through the emergency food system. You can learn how to support your local food bank and pantry system through food donations here.

Food Programs

SNAP Communications Toolkit: SNAP Feeds Our Community Campaign ( has put together a Communications Toolkit for individuals and agencies to uplift SNAP’s many positive impacts on individuals, families, and the community. Access the Toolkit here.

“What is WIC?” Downloadable Videos: The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program caters to pregnant women, women after giving birth/postpartum, new and breastfeeding mothers, infants, and children under five who fulfill the income requirements. “What is WIC?” videos are available for download in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, and Portuguese to help inform residents of the WIC program and its benefits. We encourage our partners to share these videos widely among their networks, including clients, neighbors, and professional partners. The videos are ideal for showing in waiting rooms, attaching to digital newsletters, or sending directly to interested residents. Please click here to access the videos. To schedule an appointment, contact the Florida WIC Department at 1-800-342-3556. Please click here to look at a list of things to bring for your appointment.

Hepatitis Infections Prompt Recall of Organic Frozen Fruit: Hepatitis A infections recently prompted the Scenic Fruit Company to recall frozen fruit sold at Trader Joe’s, Costco, and Aldi. There were at least five infections of the contagious liver disease before the recall that applies to the Organic Tropical Fruit Blend Pineapple, Bananas, Strawberries & Mango sold at Trader Joe’s, and organic frozen strawberries sold under five different brand names at Costco and Aldi. To find out more, please click here.

FRAC Applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture Efforts to Expand Community Eligibility: The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) applauds the USDA’s recent announcement of a proposed rule to expand the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). CEP allows high-poverty schools and districts to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students and reduces administrative paperwork and costs for schools, increases school meal participation, eliminates stigma, maximizes federal reimbursements, and makes it easier to implement Breakfast in the Classroom and other innovative breakfast models. Prior to the pandemic, about one in one in three schools were offering free meals to all students through CEP. To read more about this effort, please click here.

Discover MyPlate – Nutrition Education for Kindergarten: The USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative provides fun resources that foster healthy food choices and physically active lifestyles during children’s critical developmental and learning period: kindergarten. Now there are more recipes, food cards, emergent readers, Spanish-language components, and fun new resources showing where food comes from! SNAP-Ed educators can use the materials to assist teachers in introducing the five food groups and MyPlate to kindergarten children. All materials are free and can be found here.

Affordable Connectivity Program: The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides eligible low-income households a subsidy of up to $30 per month on internet service plans offered by participating internet service providers and up to $75 per month for eligible households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. For more information and to register, please click here.

Partner Spotlight: CROS Gleaning Program

CROS Ministries’ Gleaning Program works in partnership with area Food Banks and other food distribution agencies in Palm Beach and Martin Counties. Food recovery is prevented food waste, which refers to food that is fit for consumption but consciously discarded post-harvest. Gleaning is a food recovery strategy that allows produce that is below top market grade or unmarketable, but equally nutritious and beneficial to be harvested and distributed to those facing food insecurities in Palm Beach and Martin Counties instead of being plowed back into the soil.

Since people live apart from where their food is grown, gleaning requires volunteers to bridge the gap between the field and the pantry to bring food to locations where people in need can receive it. Farmers donate the produce they cannot sell to CROS Ministries while volunteers gather the produce. Our food-distributing partners then distribute the recovered produce to local agencies with feeding programs for individuals and families with low-incomes, seniors, people with disabilities, and the homeless. The food is given away free of charge. To find out more about gleaning and how you could be involved, please click here.


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