food insecurity

Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

For people who don't have consistent access to food, the effects of Hurricane Dorian could linger for weeks.

Floridians who were scheduled to receive federal SNAP benefits, or food stamps, between Sept. 1 and 14 were allowed to get that help early, on Aug. 31, so they could prepare for the storm. But advocates worry they could run out of food by mid-September.

Summerbreakspot.org

Just type in your address, and the red dots appear: nearby schools, parks, museums and other locations in South Florida where kids can get free meals this summer.

The website summerbreakspot.org is helping families find free breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for kids 18 and under this summer. Kids do not have to be enrolled in a public school to receive the meals.

Mobile School Pantry
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Five years ago, a mobile food pantry started delivering fresh, healthy food to parents at one elementary school in Hollywood. Then, it went to three.

Now, the nonprofit Mobile School Pantry has expanded to delivering food to seven elementary schools across Broward County. The pantry travels to schools that are located in areas that lack easy access to grocery stores - areas called food deserts.

Feeding South Florida
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This post has been updated with newly-added food distribution events at 2:36 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22.

Inside of a large food bank warehouse in Pembroke Park, a group of students and their mothers spent Monday morning sorting food into banana boxes: Cereals, gummies, peanut butter, cans of corn, green beans and more. 

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing stricter requirements for people receiving food stamps.It’s part of the farm bill passed by Congress, and if these new measures are adopted, it could mean more people in Florida will go hungry.

Feeding South Florida / via Instagram

This holiday season, thousands of families in South Florida will go hungry.

Hungry Harvest

In Florida, 15 percent of families don’t know where they’re going to get their next meal. When you look at children alone, that number increases to almost a quarter who are food insecure, according to Feeding America, one of the largest networks of food banks in the country.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

After people looking for food assistance waited in lines up to eight hours long, the state has announced extra days for sign up for the Disaster Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or D-SNAP.

The state has processed about 937,000 D-SNAP applications so far. In addition to replacement assistance for people who already get food stamps, Florida has provided nearly $1.2 billion in food assistance.

David Santiago / El Nuevo Herald

Miami Dade County Public Schools will hand out thousands of free meals to families on Thursday.

“In the wake of Hurricane Irma, many in our community are struggling to meet basic needs,” the district wrote in a press release.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Days after Hurricane Irma battered South Florida, Rufus James walked through his Liberty City neighborhood in Miami looking for paid work to chop down trees and clean up yards.

Like many Floridians, James, 57, was going on day four with no electricity. At home, he had three grandchildren to feed. They’re eating “cornflakes and whatever we can come up with. I’m looking for some food,” he said.

Before the storm, James said he worked odd jobs — helping elderly neighbors mow their lawns or move heavy items. Post storm, no one was paying for help yet.

Holly Pretsky / WLRN

The Delray Beach City Commission voted Wednesday to end the Caring Kitchen's month-to-month lease next summer. They stipulated that the kitchen must stop serving in-house meals by October 31st of this year, although they can continue preparing food to be delivered elsewhere until August 1, 2018. 

The Caring Kitchen has served meals from its current location on NW 8th Avenue for about 20 years. The food is offered for free to all that come and organizers estimate that they served 122,560 individual meals in 2016. 

Julio Ochoa / WUSF

On a recent Tuesday, the weekly produce market co-op at the Woodbrook Estates mobile home community in Lakeland was bustling. 

Boxes of fresh tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce and other fruit and veggies sat atop rows of tables. Residents at the 55 and over community picked through the produce. They filled plastic bags before heading to the cashier. 

 

Until a year ago, a group called Elderpoint Ministries was giving out tons of free food to thousands of families in Polk County. But director Jane Hammond said it didn't work.

When Lanarion Norwood Jr. was 9 years old, he opened his family's refrigerator to find it almost empty. His grandmother, unemployed because of disability, had run out of food for the month. So Norwood did what many young children adamantly resist: He went to bed early. Sleeping, he reasoned, would help him suppress hunger, and he knew the next day he could eat at his Atlanta school.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

For the past year, Lucy Perry and her longtime boyfriend William Royal have lived beneath a traffic sign on the sidewalk along Southwest Second Street under I-95. With about four dozen other homeless people, they wait for a church group to come by and hand out styrofoam containers of food.

 

Perry, Royal and many others out on the street are among the 350,000 people who lost their food stamps this year because of new state rules that adults without children who can work must work in order to get the monthly assistance.

 

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