Homestead of the Brave
April 22, 2016
On Saturday, April 16, leaders from around the entire community of Homestead joined forces to serve over 660 families in need of supplemental nutrition. By 1pm, over 64,533 pounds of food was lifted into the arms of the less fortunate, so that a total of 2,168 of South Florida’s impoverished residents were supplied with $119,932.75 of fresh produce and stable non-perishable food in less than 4 hours. This year’s Homestead Farm Share distribution was an efficient, feel-good operation that was championed by the management and staff of volunteers from our local Publix, and also volunteers from the Homestead Air Reserve Base.
Over 70 volunteers huddled together after 6 hours of service to celebrate their commitment to Farm Share.
The fight to end hunger in Homestead is waged with the weapons of duty, service, pride, and discipline- qualities all too familiar to our local Homestead Air Reserve 482 Fighter Wing. The men and women of the 482 Fighter Wing happily collaborated with Farm Share staff to ensure a safe and productive event that made recipients feel welcome and cared for. The efforts of the 482 Fighter Wing at Farm Share demonstrate to the less fortunate of our community that men and women of our armed forces make exceptional citizens, community leaders, and volunteers. Indeed, it was easy to spot local children admiring the presence of military men and women with wide eyes, attesting to the social impact of Farm Share in creating platforms for mentorship and change for the children of Florida who need it most.
This young man is growing up on Farm Share values.
Publix sponsored the participation of 30 employees, whose stellar customer service skills and sense of teamwork were on display throughout the 6 hour exercise in public service. Publix employees arrived at 8 am to Farm Share headquarters, with sunscreen and sandwiches to spare. The generous donation of $1,000 supplied lunch for the entire volunteer crew of more than 70 members, including folks from Publix staff, the 482 Fighter Wing of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Farm Share staff, and local social service agencies as well as independent civilian volunteers.
Farm Share Headquarters. Farm Share staff and volunteers work together.
Not to be forgotten were our humble and hardworking political leaders- State Senator Anitere Flores and State Representative Holly Raschein- who joined shoulder-to-shoulder with the members of the air force to load boxes of goods into vehicles, causing several strong-armed military men to blush with disbelief at the political rank of their partner in community service. “I had no idea I was serving with a Senator!” said one young pilot. “What a great day to give back!”
This collaboration of Homestead’s finest- political, military, corporate, and social leaders- to serve the most vulnerable members of our state is a shining example of the power of Farm Share in bringing together neighbors who care so that we can all work together to build safer communities and a stronger Florida for all.