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As the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 continues, the Harvest Drive team has accepted the immediate challenge of assisting food-insecure children and their families in Broward County. When schools closed in March, the Harvest Drive team reached out to the Children’s Services Council of Broward County and indicated our desire to help. This outreach resulted in an initial grant as well as a strengthening of our ongoing partnership. Our team has packed and distributed food bags to more than 2750 families which equates to approximately 9,000 people between March 14 and September 1.  These packings and future packings have been made possible by the Children’s Services Council, the Community Foundation of Broward with support from The Humana Foundation, the Stella Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, the Jim Moran Foundation, the United Way and the Farver Foundation.  We have also provided Walmart or Publix gift cards to another 500 families with the assistance of the Jim Moran Foundation and Neighbors 4 Neighbors.

Our distribution channels have widened as a result of COVID-19. With each packing we have reached out to school social workers and administrators, after school programs, the Children’s Services Council and the South Florida Hunger Coalition. Each group and agency that we have reached out to ask if they would like bags for their families, has come back with an immediate yes. We pack with a few dedicated volunteers and assign specific pick up times. The need is real. The sense of community is also real. All of our social workers and recipient agencies have relationships with the families they are assisting. Not only are many of the individuals and agencies bringing the bags directly to their recipient families but all are reaffirming that their recipients matter and that they are not alone during these difficult times.

The Harvest Drive team has committed to continuing these packings approximately every 2 weeks for as long as our community has the need.  We also plan to engage in our traditional November Harvest Drive.  It may look a little different this year but the need is greater than ever.  Please join us in our efforts by donating now. $25 covers the cost of one full bag which will provide more than 11 meals to a family who cannot afford to purchase food for their children. Knowing that we are an active part of a strong and compassionate community is life affirming during these difficult times. Join us and become part of this positivity.

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