A Big Help in the Big Bend
May 13, 2016
Drivers from all around the Big Bend of Florida were willing to wait for hours, arriving before dawn. The line of sleepy but eager cars stretched around the block.
Handicapped placards and children’s toys could be seen through the morning dew that dripped off of passenger windows. Most drivers had cut their engines and were seated, holding their heads in their hands.
These drivers are the first to understand the importance of Farm Share in Florida. Just as experts in human and social services have observed, the working-class family chauffer is the new face of American poverty.
Particularly in Florida, too many low-to-middle income providers, parents, and caretakers find themselves overwhelmed by the ever-increasing cost of healthcare, housing, and food. On weekdays, these folks rush to fill multiple jobs in order to keep their families housed, clothed and fed. On weekends, they scramble around to complete errands and attend appointments to meet their families many varied needs. Farm Share- as these hard-working folks know- is one way that these fragile families can find relief.
On Friday, May 6 in Quincy, Florida, Farm Share, a statewide food bank, distributed more than 100,000 pounds of food to the immediate aide of residents in the Big Bend who are living in economic hardship.
Pre-packaged bags of food lovingly prepared by participating volunteers from the United Way and Florida’s Department of Children and Families included fresh produce, water, orange juice, tea, an assortment of shelf stable food, bread, and pastries. Toiletries and blankets were also included.
The only thing that families participating in Farm Share Quincy’s quarterly food distribution had to do to qualify for food assistance was drive into Farm Share’s Quincy distribution facility off Blue Star Highway. Attendees were also provided access to a host of social services and information such as mental health counseling, health screenings and job skills training aimed at helping break the cycle of poverty.
“Some of our volunteers and other agency professionals know our Farm Share families by name,” explained Farm Share Quincy Manager, Dave Reynolds. “It’s quite amazing to see how social workers and church leaders all work together to keep our communities’ poorest families from slipping through the cracks. Farm Share is proud to help orchestrate those kinds of collaborations- every single week, all around the state of Florida.”
Farm Share is a non-profit organization that recovers fresh surplus produce from Florida farms and redistributes it to low-income Florida families FREE of charge. Farm Share’s integrated model for community engagement gets all members of Florida’s civil sector- corporations, government agencies, public safety divisions, and private citizens- involved in helping those who need it most.
Farm Share was built by neighbors who care, for neighbors who need it most. Donate to our on-going success and keep Florida healthy by supporting Farm Share as often as you can.