Time to Empty Your Pantry: Palm Beach United Way's annual food drive runs through April 15

·3 min read
Aleese Kopf of the Town of Palm Beach United Way, left, and Flagler's Spirit team member Allison Goff, right, collect donations from Vivian Chen at The Flagler Museum in April 2021 during the annual Empty Your Pantry Food Drive.
Aleese Kopf of the Town of Palm Beach United Way, left, and Flagler's Spirit team member Allison Goff, right, collect donations from Vivian Chen at The Flagler Museum in April 2021 during the annual Empty Your Pantry Food Drive.

With the tabebuia trees bursting their yellow splendor and Easter and Passover on the horizon, it's time to make the annual Heading North checklist.

Have some friends to the club for a minimum party. Stash the outdoor furniture. Book the car carrier. Call the vet for the dog's sedatives. Hit Stubbs and Wootton's end-of-season sale.

Oh, and feed hungry families in Palm Beach County.

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The Town of Palm Beach United Way's ninth annual Empty Your Pantry Food Drive, a partnership with the Flagler Museum, the Palm Beach Daily News and Palm Beach Fire Rescue, starts Monday and continues through April 15.

Mary Freitas, Town of Palm Beach United Way's board chairwoman.
Mary Freitas, Town of Palm Beach United Way's board chairwoman.

"Food insecurity is a reality for tens of thousands of people in Palm Beach County," said board chairman Mary Freitas. "As the price of food and other essential items continues to rise, this annual drive is an opportunity to help our nonprofit partner agencies support families in need."

Non-perishable food items will be collected to benefit individuals and families in Palm Beach County through this year's recipient organizations, Boca Helping Hands and CROS Ministries.

Boca Helping Hands is a community-based nonprofit that provides food, medical and financial assistance, as well as education, job training and guidance to help individuals and families become self-sufficient.

Palm Beach Fire Rescue Lt. Alex Mahy, right, and firefighter/medic Patrick Frawley carry in donated food for the Empty Your Food Pantry Drive at The Palm Beach Daily News office in 2019. CROS Ministries is one of the charities that the Town of Palm Beach United Way is helping during the coronavirus pandemic.
Palm Beach Fire Rescue Lt. Alex Mahy, right, and firefighter/medic Patrick Frawley carry in donated food for the Empty Your Food Pantry Drive at The Palm Beach Daily News office in 2019. CROS Ministries is one of the charities that the Town of Palm Beach United Way is helping during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Boca Helping Hands is grateful to be a beneficiary" said Greg Hazle, executive director of Boca Helping Hands. "Food drives like this are always a significant source for our food recovery efforts, and are even more critical now with shortages in food donations due to inflation and supply chain issues.”

CROS Ministries operates seven community food pantries throughout Palm Beach County, a hot meal kitchen, and a gleaning program that recovers produce from local farms.

“We are grateful to be a participant in this year’s food drive,” said Ruth Mageria, executive director of CROS Ministries. “With the rising cost of gas prices, skyrocketing rents and long-term challenges from the pandemic, our neighbors and friends will continue to need help putting food on the table, paying their bills and taking care of their families.”

Ruth Mageria hands a bag of food to a client in need at a food distribution event in 2020. Between March and November 2020 the agency served 6,912 new individuals who had never requested food assistance before.
Ruth Mageria hands a bag of food to a client in need at a food distribution event in 2020. Between March and November 2020 the agency served 6,912 new individuals who had never requested food assistance before.

Non-perishable food items can be dropped off at any Palm Beach fire station.

A one-day drive-thru drop-off will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday in the parking lot of the Flagler Museum.

Donors can drive through or walk up to the collection station near the gated entrance to drop off items. Volunteers with the museum’s Flagler’s Spirit team will collect the donations.

“The Flagler Museum is happy to once again partner with the United Way as a drop-off location for its annual food drive," said Allison Goff, the museum's Member and Visitor Services director. "We regularly witness first-hand the generosity of our members and visitors, who we hope are inspired by the generous acts of Henry Flagler during his lifetime."

Monetary donations will be accepted. Residents can donate online at www.palmbeachunitedway.org/food-drive or send a check payable to Town of Palm Beach United Way with “Food Drive” in the memo line.

Checks may be mailed to the United Way office at 44 Cocoanut Row, Suite M201, Palm Beach, FL 33480.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Daily News: Palm Beach United Way to hold ninth annual Empty Your Panty Food Drive