Feeding South Florida asks for help before CARES Act expires

CARES Act - Truck

(WSVN) – Feeding South Florida is asking for help to feed a need in the community, and that request comes right before the holidays.

The organization’s goal is to give, but now, they are hoping to keep that goal alive as a grim deadline for the CARES Act approaches.

“We’ve rented additional tractors, additional trailers, additional trucks,” Feeding South Florida CEO Paco Velez said. “We’ve hired on additional staff to make sure that we’re able to bring in the food and get it out.”

Feeding South Florida has always been on a mission to help families in need, and the mission, especially this year, has never been more dire.

“The number of families and individuals that are struggling is incredibly high,” Velez said. “The amount of food that’s coming in because of this CARES Act is drastically going down, and at the end of December, it’s going to go away completely,” Velez said.

Since the start of the pandemic, food and delivery has been on high demand.

Under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, which was introduced by the federal government to help meet these demands, Feeding South Florida started delivering and distributing more than 160 tractor-trailer loads of foods in phases since June.

Currently, they’re entering Phase 4 of distributions and are down to only 14 trailer loads per week. However, that money is about to run out.

“At the end of December, unless Congress does something to stimulate the economy and to help put food on the table for families, we’re going to be struggling to get food in South Florida and into other food banks across the country and out to our families,” Velez said.

With the deadline approaching, the organization has been doing its best to get those items out to families, including increasing volunteer shifts just to meet the volume.

“The volunteer network here in South Florida has been amazing during this pandemic,” Velez said. “They’ve risked their health to come out and volunteer and make sure we were getting food boxes out to those families.”

Despite the drastic decline in food distribution, the organization credits the volunteers and community for coming together to keep the faith.

“Our families are going through all this through no fault of their own,” Velez said. “Their only problem was they were in an industry that was forced to shut down.”

The organization hopes more aid comes around for the new year, so they can keep helping those families in need.

“If the federal government doesn’t do anything, we’re going to need about $8 million in order to continue the same amount of distribution to our families, and that’s on a monthly basis,” Velez said.

If you would like to donate to support Feeding South Florida’s mission, click here.

By: Lynn Martinez
Originally posted by WSVN FOX on November 23, 2020. View original article, here.

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