Empowering Community Resilience Through Hunger Relief: June 2023 Hunger Relief Update

Posted June 9, 2023

World Safety Day

No matter who you are or what you do, you play an important role in ensuring food is safe to eat. Celebrate World Food Safety Day on June 7 by refreshing your knowledge on safe food handling practices! This year’s theme is Food Standards Save Lives.

There is no food security without food safety. Food safety is an essential part of food security. Only when food is safe can it meet nutritional needs and help adults to live an active and healthy life and children to grow and develop.

For additional food safety resources, tips for safe food pantries, and food safety during emergencies and disasters, check out this Food Safety page.

Summer BreakSpot

Free Meals for Kids and Teens!

When school lets out for the summer, many children are at risk of hunger or poor nutrition. Many children receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. Through Summer BreakSpot, children and teens under 18 can receive breakfast, lunch, snacks, or dinner at no cost. Summer BreakSpot is designed to ensure that children have access to the nutritious meals they need to grow, learn, and play during the summer months and to help ensure their bodies and minds are healthy and strong for the upcoming school year.

Summer BreakSpot meals are designed to provide the kinds and amounts of food required to meet children’s nutrient and energy needs. Any child 18 or younger can come to a site during meal times to enjoy well-balanced, healthy meals while in a safe and supervised environment. No application is necessary, nor is there a cost associated. Each meal includes milk, a fruit or vegetable, grains, and protein.

The fresh meals served vary by location, including breakfast, lunch, a snack, and/or supper. Meals are served at places like parks, libraries, community centers, and churches. Many sites are within walking distance, and some are mobile, moving to different neighborhoods throughout the day.

To find a location near you, text the word “Food” or “Comida” to 304-304, dial 2-1-1, or click here.

For Outreach Resources to promote Summer BreakSpot, visit summerbreakspot.org.

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.

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.

Kroger Delivery Now Accepts EBT for SNAP Online Grocery Orders: This new payment option opens new opportunities for customers to access fresh, healthy, SNAP-eligible foods in a way that is most convenient. To begin placing digital orders today, customers can create an account through the Kroger Delivery app or at Kroger.com. Simply add an EBT account number as a new card under “My Account” and “Wallet.” For more information, please 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.

Grant Opportunities

Request for Proposals – Engage Forward 2023-24: Leadership Palm Beach County’s Engage Forward empowers members from the Leadership Palm Beach County Engage program to take active roles in the community through a partnership with local nonprofit agencies. If your nonprofit is chosen, your organization will actively collaborate with Engage class members on a special project to solve issues facing your organization or the community you serve. Learn more about Engage Forward and see past projects hereGo to their website to (1) register for a proposer workshop (required for participation), (2) download the Request for Proposals application, and (3) view answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Applications are due July 7, 2023.

Expanding Aquaculture Education and Experiential Learning at Florida K-12 Schools through Teacher Training: Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson announced the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is now accepting applications from Florida educators to participate in a collaborative aquaculture education training workshop July 26-28, 2023, to help Florida teachers bring aquaculture and aquaponics into their classrooms. Applications are due no later than Friday, June 16, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST. For more information, please look at the Program Application Packet.

2023 Great Ideas Initiative: The Children’s Services Council (CSC) of Palm Beach County has released a funding opportunity seeking applications for the 2023 Great Ideas Initiative (GII). The Great Ideas Initiative gives local communities, organizations, and programs funding opportunities that make a difference in the lives of children and their families. With grants up to $40,000, CSC supports new and creative ideas and programs designed to help families succeed. The deadline for application submission is June 27, 2023, by 12:00 p.m. (noon). Those interested in applying should visit their website to find the GII Guidelines and Instructions and to apply through Foundant.

FY 2023 WIC Enrollment via State-Level Referral Data Matching with SNAP and Medicaid: The goal of this request for applications (RFA) is to facilitate data-sharing activities that support targeted outreach and streamlined certification processes aimed at increasing the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participation and retention. This RFA will provide up to $20,000,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding through a one-time cooperative agreement to an external entity that will provide financial, technical, and evaluation support to WIC State agencies to implement referral data matching, with participant consent when required, and outreach efforts. To look at eligibility requirements and deadlines, please click here.


Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies June 2023 Educational Calendar: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies provides free hands-on education programs for parents and support partners. Educational classes are for pregnant women and new families. The class instructors are community partners or certified Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies staff. Check out the HMHB June Calendar to view upcoming classes or groups. Participants can register for classes/groups on the HMHB website.

Summer Reading Program 2023 by PBC Library: Participate in the Summer Reading Program 2023 from June 5 to July 28 by completing a Little Learner Log or BINGO card, available at one of the PBC Library service desks. Your entry will make you eligible for one completion prize (while supplies last) and an entry into a grand prize drawing. Grand prize winners will be selected after Friday, July 28, 2023.

ABCD’s of Water Safety: The City of Greenacres Let’s Talk… series is hosting a Water Safety event in coordination with the Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sessions are free and offered in-person only, although space is limited. To register or for more information, please call (561) 642-2090.

PBC Food Bank Volunteer Project: Volunteer with United Way PBC and the Palm Beach County Food Bank to sort and pack food items. You will be a hunger hero as the food you pack will be distributed to thousands of people in the community struggling to put food on the table. One shift is available from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. Please click here to register.

You’re the Cure Southeast Chat: Through the 30-minute You’re the Cure Southeast Chats, the American Heart Association (AHA) aims to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at their advocacy efforts and to help you be a relentless advocate for a world of longer, healthier lives. Join the next You’re the Cure Southeast Chat on Monday, June 26, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. by registering here.

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.

“Climate Smart Floridians” Is Back!: Make a big impact in the world through a course of study that provides a practical, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary foundation for everyone. Sign up and enhance your skill set in climate change, home energy, renewable energy, yards, food, water, green building, transportation, and consumption focusing on West Palm Beach issues and impacts. For more information and registration details, please click here.

Intriguing News

  • Hurricane Preparedness: Be ready for hurricane season! Take action TODAY to be better prepared for when the worst happens. Understand your risk from hurricanes, and begin pre-season preparations now. Ensure you understand how to interpret forecasts and alerts and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to prepare before hurricane season begins on June 1. For more information, please click here. For more hurricane prep resources, please visit this website.
    • Hurricane or Other Disaster Information and Resources: 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 211Hurricane.org. If you have information on preparation or recovery services or resources pre or post-hurricane or other disasters please email 211: 211Disaster@211pbtc.org.
  • 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.

Food Programs

SNAP Communications Toolkit: SNAP Feeds Our Community Campaign (SNAPFeeds.us) 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.

You’re the Cure Survey (AHA): The American Heart Association is advocating for critical nutrition and feeding programs in the Farm Bill, and they are going to need your voice! If you have experience with SNAP and GusNIP, their most important and critical asks need your voice. Please click here to fill out this 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.

FRAC Report Reveals More High-Poverty Schools Providing Breakfast and Lunch at No Charge: During the 2022–2023 school year, 40,235 schools adopted the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows high-need schools to offer breakfast and lunch to all students at no charge. Community eligibility provided an essential way for schools to continue offering free Healthy School Meals to All when the pandemic-related child nutrition waivers ended at the start of the 2022–2023 school year, and the number of schools participating in community eligibility grew by 6,935 schools, or 20.8%, from the prior school year. For more information, please click here.

Nourishing Communities – How SNAP Became Florida’s Most Effective Anti-Hunger Program: While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has grown to be one of the nation’s most powerful poverty reduction tools, SNAP’s effectiveness is the culmination of roughly 100 years of bipartisan support and growing pains, as various roadblocks impeded earlier food assistance programs from reaching their full potential in fighting food insecurity. Nevertheless, there is still work to be done around SNAP on the state level to reverse course on policies that have led to inequitable access to the program. Learn more about SNAP in Florida by reading Florida Policy Institute’s report.

Job Opportunities

United Way of Palm Beach County (UWPBC) Jobs: United Way of Palm Beach County is hiring! Come join an organization whose mission is to ensure that everyone in Palm Beach County has access to the basics: a quality education, a place to live, financial stability, good medical care, and enough to eat. Please click here to see our current job openings.

FLIPANY Hiring Summer AmeriCorps Members: FLIPANY currently hires AmeriCorps members to work with their Summer Food Service Program. All hired members would receive a stipend for participation and are eligible for an Education Award once the season has been completed. For more information, please click here

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.

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.

Partner Spotlight

Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition to Youth (FLIPANY)

FLIPANY has been improving the health of residents in South Florida for the past 17 years. They provide trained staff to deliver healthy meals, nutrition education, and mentoring programs for youth and families during the school year and summer months. Their unique model builds on businesses that already serve vulnerable participants.

FLIPANY has undertaken many projects and grant-funded initiatives that exemplify the experience and ability of the organization to successfully work towards fulfilling its mission of building health equity through nutrition education, healthy meals, physical activity, and wellness initiatives. Through their program delivery model, FLIPANY supplies experts in wellness and youth development and teaches site staff, youth, and families the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. With the audience already attending the programs, partnering with businesses has been a very successful way to reach and teach vulnerable participants.

FLIPANY utilizes a business-to-business approach for service delivery that brings value-added programming to the community. They partner with established organizations to support delivering evidence-based nutrition education and physical activity programs to their current populations. FLIPANY provides services to over 635 partner-sites and offersnutrition education to over 50,000 youth in 2021, with over 1,700 youth learning to prepare healthy meals. Visit their website to learn more!


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