Statewide Food Banks Provide Critical Relief with Impact of Hurricane Irma

Feeding Florida’s statewide network of food banks have ramped up efforts to help families impacted by this Hurricane Irma. When disaster strikes, the Feeding Florida network is on the ground and ready to deliver food and emergency supplies to help people cope in the aftermath. The network continues to work closely with its state and federal partners to ensure each impacted individual receives the resources they require. 

“We are constantly assessing community needs and preparing to provide assistance and basic supplies such as food, water, hygiene and paper products to those who might be affected,” said Robin Safley, Executive Director of the Feeding Florida. “Our statewide network of food banks is an essential part of emergency and disaster efforts as we support many of the front-line services aimed at providing essential items during response and recovery efforts.”

What We’re Doing 

Feeding Florida remains in constant contact with our federal partners at the USDA and Feeding America who are conducting ongoing monitoring of the situation on-the-ground and coordinating efforts with disaster partners including the American Red Cross and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). Feeding Florida also serves as a core member of Florida’s Emergency Operations Center helping to coordinate Florida’s emergency food response and disaster supplies. Our most important goal is to facilitate the free flow of information among all humanitarian actors throughout the state. Our second goal is to educate the concerned public on the best ways to help without causing a “second disaster” of uncoordinated donations and volunteers.

What Our Food Banks Are Doing

Our 14-member food banks will work overtime over the coming days to support area refugee shelters, as well as staging food for entry into the disaster area(s). Please note, depending on the severity of the storms, some food banks may be directly impacted and may be open, but operating at a reduced capacity due to damaged facilities.

How You Can Help

Feeding Florida and our statewide network of food banks are humbled by the immediate response from communities wanting to help their neighbors in need. 

At this point in the response, the best form of support is financial. When funds are donated to Feeding Florida or our member food banks, they can be immediately used to procure and distribute food, water, and cleaning / hygiene items for impacted families. Our food banks can also leverage these donations through bulk and planned buying, as well as avoid the costs associated with sorting and transporting mixed food donations.

To donate, please visit FeedingFlorida.org/donate or donate directly to one of our local member food banks by visiting FeedingFlorida.org/florida-food-banks/directory. 

Some donors are unable to give financially, or prefer to organize physical food drives in their communities. We welcome all forms of support, and simply ask that organizers contact us or their local food bank to see whether their donation can be held until affected food banks are ready to receive it. For these efforts, the items most requested by our food banks are:

•    Hand-held snack items such as granola bars
•    Pop-top, ready-to-eat items
•    Shelf-stable pantry items such as peanut butter, tuna and soup
•    Bottled water
•    Cleaning supplies (bleach, non-bleach, paper towels, etc.)
•    Personal hygiene items (toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.)

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About Feeding Florida

Feeding Florida is the state’s lead organization in the fight to end hunger. Our statewide network unites 14-member food banks to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply to every community every day. Feeding Florida member food banks support more than 2,600 local charitable agencies, which provide food directly to individuals and families in need to ensure a hunger-free Florida. Each year, the Feeding Florida network provides food to the 3.3 million Floridians facing hunger, including 1.1 million children and 700,000 seniors. Feeding Florida is a unified voice regarding hunger and food insecurity by focusing on each community’s needs. To learn more about Feeding Florida, visit www.FeedingFlorida.org. 

Donate Today

Support Irma Relief Efforts: Every dollar will be directed to our statewide food banks to provide food and supplies to individuals impacted.

Find a Food Bank

Our statewide network stands ready to mobilize and provide relief to individuals and families affected by Hurricane Irma. 

Our Programs

Programs can vary by Food Bank or individual community. Find out more about Hunger Relief in your community.