(Lake Worth, Fla.) – Dozens of community leaders and VIPs attended the Palm Beach County Food Bank’s ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the move to a new, fully funded warehouse and distribution facility. Under the leadership of co-chairs Debbie Pucillo and Rev. Cecie Titcomb, the organization’s $3 million “Grow with Us” capital campaign supported the Palm Beach County nonprofit’s move to double its capacity to serve the community. Attendees enjoyed light bites and tours at the socially distanced ceremony.
The Palm Beach County Food Bank procures food from grocery stores, farmers, food distributors, wholesalers and other sources and provides it to almost 200 local community partners, including food pantries, soup kitchens and residential housing programs. Palm Beach County Food Bank programs reach families, school children and seniors, and connect those in need to available benefits and resources. The Palm Beach County Food Bank provides partner agencies culturally appropriate food and necessities like paper towels and diapers, and this process ensures families have access to food when they need it.
“It is hard to appreciate that one in six people living in the county do not know where they will get their next meal,” said Jamie Kendall, CEO of the Food Bank. “The pandemic has exposed just how easy it is for people to become food insecure. We are grateful to all of our donors for the ability to serve more people in need, such as Florida Power and Light for their $100,000 donation that will allow us to have brand new transportation to help our partner agencies.”
Donor Stephen Schwarzman toured the facility ahead of the ribbon cutting ceremony. His $500,000 gift closed out the “Grow With Us” capital campaign and was the organization’s largest single donation.
The Palm Beach County Food Bank traces its origins to a one-truck operation. Nine years ago, thanks to the support of key funders and the County, the Food Bank moved to a three-building facility in Lantana. Now, located at 701 Boutwell Road in Lake Worth, the new facility totals 28,000 square-feet in a single building with 30-foot-high ceilings, allowing more room to stack pallets and thus a more efficient use of space.
Historically, the Palm Beach County Food Bank provided access to nutritious food for more than 200,000 hungry Palm Beach County residents every month. Since COVID-19 disrupted the county’s economy, the demand for the Food Bank’s services has tripled. While pre-COVID 19 distributions averaged close to 5 million pounds per year, the Lantana facility is currently distributing close to 1.5 million pounds of food per month. Kendall says the new location offers the nonprofit the ability to meet the increased demand from Palm Beach County neighbors who find themselves needing access to food for their families.
For more information about food distributions, volunteer opportunities and other Palm Beach County Food Bank programming, visit pbcfoodbank.org. To donate to the Food Bank, call Ellen Vaughan, Director of Development and Philanthropy at 561-670-2518.