Published On: Thu, Jul 7th, 2016

Whole Foods Market Boca Raton Donates Five Hundred Thousand Pounds Of Food To Boca Helping Hands

Keeping with Whole Foods Market’s Core Values, America’s healthiest grocery store aims to serve and support their local and global communities – so much so that the company’s Boca Raton store has donated more than five hundred thousand pounds of food to Boca Helping Hands in the past five years, a feat that will be celebrated on July 7, 2016.

At the Boca Helping Hands Food Center, volunteers serve hot meals six days a week to families and individuals that include the unemployed and underemployed, single parents, children and the elderly.

“Whole Foods Market was on the frontline of food recovery, and has been our most consistent partner for the past eight years,” said James Gavrilos, Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands. “The fuel needed to run our train consists of three parts: money, food and volunteers. Whole Foods Market has provided us with all three.”

Boca Helping Hands picks up donations from Whole Foods Market every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. More than half the food Whole Foods Market donates is produce (22%), dairy and cheese (26%) and prepared foods (13%).

“Produce, dairy and cheese, and prepared foods are key categories due to their nutritional value and it’s a food group that seldom gets donated,” said Karen Doyle, Whole Foods Market’s Regional Healthy Eating and Green Mission Specialist. “The Food Donation Connection coordinates daily pick-ups which enables us to donate these perishable foods.”

Through food recovery, Whole Foods Market has provided 384,615 meals to local families through the partnership with Boca Helping Hands. Gavrilos credits the strength of the relationship to proximity and Whole Foods’ commitment to community.

“Whole Foods Market was a pioneer of food recovery. Up until a few years ago, you went to a food pantry and received cans of food and bread,” said Gavrilos. “The critical change that Whole Foods made was giving fresh produce and nutritionally rich products that we could put in the hands of the most nutritiously vulnerable groups.”

On July 7, Boca Helping Hands will honor Whole Foods Market as a key partner with a plaque presentation inside the Whole Foods Market located at 1400 Glades Rd #110, Boca Raton, FL 33431. The presentation will take place at 2 p.m.

As a Florida region, Whole Foods Market stores have partnered with Food Donation Connection, an international organization that manages food donation programs and provides an alternative to discarding surplus food. Since solidifying the partnership in April 2015, all 24 Whole Foods Market locations in Florida have jumped on board and partnered with a total of 65 charities and organizations, which are overseen by Food Donation Connection

Every day, local organizations take turns visiting the store and picking up supplies for their community. Other organizations aided throughout the Sunshine State include the Salvation Army, Helping Hands and Lighthouse Mission. In addition to feeding the hungry and keeping the food waste out of the landfill, Whole Foods Market’s partnership with Food Donation Program is a sense of pride among the company’s team members. Last holiday season, Whole Foods Market’s regional team spread holiday cheer by visiting local charities and delivering donations.

Whole Foods Market is continuing their work with Food Donation Connection, and is aiming to donate another 2.5 million pounds by December 2016.

For more information on Boca Helping Hands, please visit http://www.bocahelpinghands.org. For more information on Food Donation Connection, please visit http://www.foodtodonate.com/.

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