Monday, May 20

24-hour Meal-A-Thon underway in Boynton Beach

Feeding South Florida on Friday has started its 24-hour Meal-A-Thon where volunteers will package and box over 2,800 meals.

“In Florida, we have a lot of seniors who are struggling to put food on the table. Most of them are on a fixed income, and their increases on this Fixed Income or Social Security aren’t really meeting the needs, especially as inflation rises much higher,” said Paco Velez, the president and CEO of Feeding South Florida.

Feeding South Florida takes the extra step to ensure the well being of older adults.

“Our drivers also do wellness checks when we go to people’s homes just to make sure that they’re doing okay. A lot of our seniors are socially isolated. They don’t really get visited as much and so we are sometimes the only contact they have, you know, a week or a two-week period so we ask our drivers to do that,” Velez said.

Some seniors are making tough choices.

“And sometimes they’ll either feed their pets their tuna or their food, or even worse, they’ll eat the food that’s for their pets,” Velez said.

The organization wants people to know its okay to ask for help.

“But at the same time, there’s a lot of need and we let them know it’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay that that that you’re asking us to come out and provide food or asking for other assistance because that’s why we’re here right they’ve they’ve worked there their time they’ve done that they thought that they were in a good place,” said Velez.

Their mission does take a mental toll on their drivers.

“They’ve lost some of the seniors that they deliver to. And they have to come back and say, you know, we no longer have to deliver to this person. And so we were there to listen but they’re they’re more for each other because they’ve experienced this together. And and so it does take a toll. But I think it’s just part of what we do as an organization and as people who who care about others,” Velez said.

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