Sep 03 2009

Daily Bread Food Bank

By Rocio Blanco Garcia

Have you ever been so hungry that you felt sick? You are not alone.

Millions of people today go to bed with an empty stomach and without the hope of having a better tomorrow, but thanks to non-profit organizations like the Daily Bread Food Bank (DBFB), some get a modest meal.

The DBFB, the largest food bank in the state of Florida, started in 1981 to reduce hunger in South Florida. It’s an affiliate of Feeding America and a member of the Florida Association of Food Banks.

Its goal: Reduce hunger by reducing the amount of food we waste each day.

According to www.stopthehunger.com, today, more than 15 tons of food will be wasted in the United States, and families in our country will spend more than $13 million on food that will be tossed. $13 million would allow the DBFB to serve more than 78 million meals.

Because the organization is a non profit, it buys food at discount rates. Each dollar the organization receives is enough to serve six meals.

DBFB also accepts food donations.

DBFB, together with its 800 affiliate organization, feeds people in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe Counties. But in the last year, with the economic downturn, the organization has seen a shortage of food. “The economy has affected us from the perspective that there is an increase demand of food,” said Anthea Pennant, who works at the DBFB. “More and more people are needing more.”

In spite of the economic crisis, Pennant says she hasn’t seen less donations.

“The great thing about our country is that those who like to give, give even during difficult times.”

Since its beginning in 1981, the DBFB has opened warehouses in all the counties it serves, and it has gone from providing about 432,000 pounds of food a year to serving 18 million pounds each year.

According to Census Bureau figures from 2006, approximately 150,000 people are unemployed in the four counties the DBFB serves. The organization currently provides food to 117,000 individuals each year, including some who are employed but live under poverty levels.

Those who would like to join DBFB’s cause and make donations can do so on the organization website, which also provides information about the Florida Food Stamps program for low-income families. For more information about the organization and ongoing food drives or to contact DBFB representatives please visit http://www.dailybread.org/.

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