Strengthening Community Support in the Face of Hunger: August 2023 Hunger Relief Update

Posted August 3, 2023

Job Opportunities

United Way of Palm Beach County (UWPBC) Vice President of Hunger Relief: UWPBC is looking for a Vice President of Hunger Relief. The person appointed to this role would lead the continued implementation and collective impact of Palm Beach County’s Hunger Relief Strategic Plan which was originally adopted in 2015 to fight hunger and food insecurity. Please click here to find out more and to apply. Please click here to see our other current job openings.

CROS Ministries Gleaning Program Assistant Director: This position is a program assistant to the Director of the Gleaning Program, aiming to feed hungry people through the recovery and distribution of nutritious produce that would otherwise be wasted. This is a full-time position with seasonal schedule fluctuations. Beginning hourly rate is $17-$20, depending on experience. For more details on the position and how to apply, please click here.

Free Meals Available to Children at School District of Palm Beach County Schools

School Food Service will continue to offer FREE breakfast and lunch during the 2023-2024 school year at all schools that participate with us in the National School Lunch Program.

Students are able to receive a nutritious breakfast every morning. There are a variety of breakfast items to choose from such as breakfast sandwiches, assorted cereals, eggs, omelets, French toast, pancakes, and many more.

For lunch, students can choose from chicken patty sandwiches, deep dish pizza, salads, macaroni and cheese, and a variety of other selections with a vegetarian option offered each day. Please click here to see the daily menu for your school.

Please note that meals may contain allergens. Everyone is encouraged to take precautions and contact the School Food Service office at 561-383-2000 if their child has any special dietary needs due to allergies or disabilities.

Food Programs

Update on the 2023 Farm Bill: During August recess U.S. senators and representatives leave Washington D.C. and travel to their home states and districts. This month consider familiarizing or re-familiarizing yourself with the Farm Bill and what it includes. Call, write, or schedule meetings with your representatives to discuss priorities with them.

Share Your Story About SNAP/GusNIP: The American Heart Association is advocating for critical nutrition and feeding programs in the 2023 Farm Bill. The Farm Bill is a comprehensive multi-year federal bill that addresses nutrition and agricultural policy issues. It is typically renewed every five years; the current authorization expires September 30, 2023. If you have experience with SNAP and GusNIP, their most important and critical asks need your voice! Please click here to fill out a short form to share your story.

Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Extension Outreach Flyer: Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB) Coalition of Palm Beach County has created an outreach flyer encouraging postpartum women who had Medicaid during their pregnancy to contact HMHB with questions and to make an appointment. Please click here to access the flyer.

DCF Update – 2023 Summer P-EBT: The Florida Dept. of Children and Families announced on Facebook that they would submit a plan to administer a 2023 Summer Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT). Details about DCF’s plan have not been released. Eligibility for 2023 Summer P-EBT will be tied to free or reduced price school meal eligibility. It will be important that families with eligible children who have not applied for or been directly certified for free or reduced meals take the necessary steps to receive P-EBT. School children who attended a school that participated in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Special Provisions 2 or 3 in school year 2022-2023 will be covered. The Florida Policy Institute (FPI) will update you as more details about the 2023 Summer P-EBT become available.

“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.

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 Purchasing Now Available in All 50 States: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that, in partnership with states, territories, and retailers across the country, online purchasing using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is now available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia! This expansion represents a major milestone in the history of SNAP and continues to provide greater convenience and access to healthy food options for tens of millions of Americans. 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 program and the full list of retailers approved to provide SNAP online purchasing, visit the SNAP Online webpage. The USDA also recommends visiting your local retailer’s website to find out whether grocery delivery is available for your location.

mRelief: Florida Impact to End Hunger shared SNAP enrollment resources from friends at the national nonprofit, mRelief. mRelief built the first ever SNAP eligibility screener accessible by mobile phone and they now partner with community organizations across the state of Florida to create a state-compliant and user-friendly enrollment process to connect our neighbors in need to crucial benefits that they deserve. Last year 8,312 Floridians chose to apply for SNAP with one of mRelief’s community-based enrollment partners or on their own via mRelief’s simplified application. If you’d like to partner with them to connect your community to a more accessible route to SNAP benefits, you can fill out their Community Partner Intake form.

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.

MEANS (Matching Excess And Needs for Stability) Database: MEANS (Matching Excess And Needs for Stability) 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 (UWPBC) 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 250,000 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.

Partner Spotlight

The Pearl Mae Foundation

The Pearl Mae Foundation, located in the town of Jupiter, Florida serves the needs of the senior citizen community in Palm Beach County.

The Pearl Mae Foundation focuses on (1) providing fresh, healthy groceries to meet the nutritional needs for low-income senior citizens, (2) providing supplemental financial support to help meet the daily needs for low-income senior citizens, and (3) providing tuition scholarships to students who want to focus their careers/lives in the healthcare and first responder fields.

Since the start of the pandemic, Pearl’s Pantry has been a vital resource for low-income senior citizens in Jupiter, Florida. The Town of Jupiter declared Pearl’s Pantry “the best program we funded since the pandemic” and has provided the organization more than $100,000 in additional funding, allowing them to add resources to their pantry services. Two case managers and a nutritionist were added to assist with additional duties. In addition, the Pearl Mae Foundation expanded their pantry services to include senior centers throughout Palm Beach County which provides fresh produce to their most low-income, food insecure clients. They are also adding Farmer’s Markets to many of those locations, as well as additional senior citizen agencies.

To learn more about the Pearl Mae Foundation, including their programs, resources, events, etc., please visit their website and Facebook page.

Grant Opportunities

FY23 WIC Food Packages Research Grants and Symposium RFA: This request for applications (RFA) will provide $1,500,000 in federal funding, through a one-time cooperative agreement, to one external entity (institute of higher education or other non-profit research organization) that will ultimately provide grants to researchers to conduct pre- and post-implementation research around changes to the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) food packages. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to better understand facilitators and barriers to implementation encountered by state/local programs, participants, and vendors and to generate evidence around implementation of the final changes to the WIC food packages rule. Applications close on Wednesday, August 30, 2023. For more information, please click here.

Mobile Application Cooperative Agreement, SNAP Farmers and Markets RFA: The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to enable SNAP-authorized DMFs (direct marketing farmers and FMs [farmer’s markets], as necessary) to determine, at no or little cost to them, whether adding SNAP to their business model has a positive cost-benefit value, and to provide SNAP recipients with greater access to DMFs operating at physical FM locations and via other direct marketing avenues (e.g., roadside stands, pick-your-own). Applications close on Tuesday, September 5, 2023. For more information, please click here.


  • School District of Palm Beach County schools are back in session Thursday, August 10, 2023! Take advantage of the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday (July 24 – August 6) for all your school supply needs. Click here to learn more. Click here to access a list of Back to School events in Palm Beach County.
  • National Farmers Market Week: August 6-12, 2023, is an annual celebration that highlights the vital role farmers markets play in our nation’s food system. With fun events, programs, contests, activities, and more, the week helps to boost market attendance and visibility, and is a great opportunity to showcase how much value markets bring to their communities. Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) offers plenty of resources, tools, and ideas for market managers, vendors, and attendees to use for planning and participating in National Farmers Market Week! Click here to download the 2023 National Farmers Market Toolkit.
  • FREE Diaper Distribution: Free diapers and pull ups will be distributed at Greenacres City Hall on Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Diapers sizes 0-6 and pull ups sizes 2T-4T will be available. For more information, including how to register, please click here.
  • Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Give Back Day: Thursday, August 17th is National Nonprofit Day! Grab some delicious pizza and support United Way of Palm Beach County by visiting an Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza near you. Mention our name at checkout when you dine in, take out, order online, or order over the phone, and 20% of your bill goes to supporting our mission. Let’s Raise the Dough! Located in West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Wellington, Delray Beach, Boca Raton East, and Boca Raton West.
  • Learn About Food as Medicine: Join E-RoadMap on the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of every month throughout 2023! Enjoy a wellness workshop from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. exploring healthy cooking, nutrition education, gardening, fitness, and more. All events are free. To learn more and sign up for workshops, please click here.

Other News

  • Hurricane or Other Disaster Information and Resources: Be prepared! We encourage all individuals, families, organizations, and businesses to take stock, plan, and get prepared. 211 gathers information for our 211 Resource Specialists to share with callers, and for the community in general to be centrally located on our website pages that can be accessed at If you have information on preparation or recovery services or resources pre or post-hurricane or other disasters please email 211:
  • Water Safety: With summer quickly approaching and temperatures rising, many families will be looking to cool off at beaches, lakes, and pools. It’s important to remember that a fun day in the water can quickly become a tragedy if proper safety precautions are not taken. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death for Florida children between 1 and 4. However, according to Palm Beach County Medical Examiner records and the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, seniors have the highest drowning rate in Palm Beach County. Water safety should be taken seriously by all age groups to prevent any accidents. Please click here for water safety information from the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County. Stay safe this summer!
  • Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Future Trends
    • More Young Adults are Using Food Pantries: Food pantries have been growing significantly as a resource for people under 25, the group most likely to be ALICE or to live in poverty in all United For ALICE partner states. Reports consistently find higher rates of food insecurity among college students. In response, university-affiliated food pantries rose from four in 2008 to 121 in 2014, and expansion continues across the country. To find out more, click here.
    • As the U.S. Population Ages, the Number of Food-Insecure Seniors (65+) is Increasing: Due to financial hardships and aging adults, the number of food-insecure seniors more than doubled from 2001 to 2016, to 4.9 million. If this trend continues at the current rate, as expected, there will be more than 8 million food-insecure seniors by 2050. To find out more, click here. For Florida-specific data on ALICE individuals, please click here.
  • Solve Picky Eating: Picky eating is prevalent, particularly for toddlers and preschoolers, perhaps, even with adolescents. Feeding toddlers and kids is challenging, but some resources and tips could help! Kids Eat in Color is the leading resource for families seeking evidence-based information and strategies on child nutrition and feeding. Visit the Kids Eat in Color website for more help and information on child nutrition and feeding. Click here for tips to solve picky eating, and click here for ideas on how to talk to kids about food.
  • Medically Tailored Meals Could Save U.S. Nearly $13.6 Billion Per Year: Adopting more programs that make and deliver medically tailored meals to people with severe, diet-sensitive diseases could result not only in improved health outcomes in the form of fewer hospitalizations nationally but in a net cost savings of approximately $13.6 billion each year, according to new research from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Medically tailored meals (MTMs) are healthy, home-delivered meals customized and fully prepared for individuals living with advanced illnesses, including diabetes, heart failure, end-stage renal disease, HIV, and cancer. To learn more, please click here.

Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month! This month was started by Feeding America in 2008 when they decided it was time for a nationwide push to get involved with the hunger crisis across the country. Hunger Action Month aims to raise awareness about food insecurity and hunger in our communities and culminates in Hunger Action Day on Saturday, September 23, 2023. Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved all month long.

Hunger Relief Meetings

We could not do our work without you! The Hunger Relief Initiative uses the Collective Impact Model to implement the Palm Beach County Hunger Relief Plan and make sustainable, long-term changes to reduce hunger in Palm Beach County. We do this work through our Hunger Relief Advisory Council and the Council’s work groups and subcommittees.

The staff regularly convenes the Hunger Relief Advisory Council, six Work Groups, and three Subcommittees. Please send us an email to learn more.


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