This article has been updated
By: Jen Russon
The city of Coral Springs is gearing up to host its first food drive in partnership with Feeding South Florida, through the efforts of Commissioner Joshua Simmons, who reassured residents online that food assistance would be available throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
“To those of you worried about your financial future, please don’t panic. History has proven time and time again that we will bounce back,” said Simmons.
Serving as the largest food bank for Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, Feeding South Florida has served more than 9 million pounds of food to people in need since mid-March.
Sari Vatske, executive vice president of the organization, said more than 98 percent of all donations are put back into the community and encourages everyone who can donate to do so now, as millions of Floridians continue to file for unemployment.
“For every dollar donated, we can provide seven meals,” said Vatske, adding the organization now has an over-abundance of fresh produce to offer those in need.
The food distribution site at the Coral Square Mall will be set up on the northside and begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays, ending when supplies run out.
Simmons said there are Feeding South Florida food drives throughout South Florida, with new ones added daily.
“We would like to see the food drive we host in Coral Springs assist our residents, as well as residents of surrounding cities that are most in need.”
How the food drive works are vehicles drive up, and bags of food are placed in their car trunks by a FeedingSouth Florida volunteer.
“We are putting food in trunks, so there is little interaction between volunteers and people in their cars. We will hand out vouchers up to a certain amount, this way we won’t have people waiting in lines with no chance of getting food,” said Simmons.
The commissioner added the nonprofit needs new volunteers, as well as donations so that FeedingSouthFlorida can continue to provide a variety of proteins, vegetables, milk, fruit, and bread.
“I just wanted to make sure people are fed, and no one in our city goes without. The city did a great job of organizing this, and I’m glad to have been a helping hand in getting this done,” he said.
Coral Square Mall is located at 9469 W Atlantic Boulevard.