Published On: Wed, Jun 3rd, 2020

Boca Helping Hands Issues “Protein Challenge” Expresses Thanks to Community

Casuarina Condominium Carol Derboghosian Check Presentation

Boca Raton, FL —Boca Helping Hands (BHH) clients could be taking home more meat for their families soon, thanks to a challenge grant from local charity Hands on Tzedakah (“HOT”). With HOT’s support, BHH has issued a $10,000 community “Protein Challenge” to help provide protein/meat to the families that it serves. BHH also wants to thank the community for donating food and funds to help meet the increased need for services during the COVID-19 crisis.

Hands on Tzedakah will match the first $250 of any donation received by Boca Helping Hands from now through June 12 up to a total of $10,000, with funding going to purchase meat for clients’ pantry bags in June. HOT made an earlier contribution in April that allowed BHH to buy 5,750 pounds of wholesale nonperishable food, needed when food donations from local grocery store partners were down 75 percent.  

Boca Helping Hands has benefited from an overwhelming community response, with more than 120 individuals and 55 organizations contributing financially to BHH’s COVID-19 relief efforts, food pantry and hot meals during the pandemic.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the demand for food has almost doubled for Boca Helping Hands’ feeding programs,” said Greg Hazle, executive director of Boca Helping Hands. “We deeply appreciate the community’s help in filling backpacks for food-insecure kids, providing meals for families trying to make ends meet during the pandemic, and funding job training for people who need new careers now that so many are out of work.”

Major supporters have included the Leslie L. Alexander Foundation, the Louise Baxter King Charitable Foundation, Boca West Children’s Foundation, the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Daniel Hassan, the Remillard Family Foundation, the M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation, The Goldberg Family Foundation, Stoops Family Foundation, United Way of Palm Beach County, Bank of America Foundation, Gerald Robert Sheetz, ADT Security Services, the Boca Rio Foundation, The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust, Asofksy Family Foundation, Steven E. Bernstein Family Foundation, The Shumway Foundation, Purity Wholesale Grocers and the Ted A. Gardner Family Foundation.

The Addison, The Dubliner Irish Pub (of Subculture Group) and Bucca have provided meals in order to meet the new demand of 300 hot lunches per day. Organizations, congregations, neighborhood associations and families have helped fill pantry bags by hosting fund-drives and food drives, including Spanish River Church (7,526 pounds – the new record for a Boca Helping Hands community food drive); NCCI (4,570 pounds); the Rotary Clubs of Downtown Boca Raton (2,311 pounds) and Boca Raton (2,308 pounds); and Woodfield Country Club (2,282 pounds). Other members of the community have contributed by starting GoFundMe and Facebook fundraisers, organizing races, hosting events and even selling masks, with proceeds going to Boca Helping Hands.

“Our community has provided more than tangible assistance,” Hazle said. “It has been a source of inspiration knowing how much they want to help those of our neighbors in greatest need.”

For more information, contact Karen Swedenborg at 561-417-0913, ext. 202 or visit bocahelpinghands.org.

About Boca Helping Hands

Boca Helping Hands (BHH) is a community-based nonprofit that provides food, medical and financial assistance to meet basic human needs as well as education, job training and guidance to create self-sufficiency.  

BHH distributes more than 80,000 pantry bags each year at three Palm Beach County locations and serves over 55,000 hot meals annually, six days per week. The organization expands access to affordable medical, dental and behavioral care through its partnership with Genesis Community Health, serving clients at clinics in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach. BHH sends weekend meals home with food-insecure elementary school students via the BHH Backpacks Program and assists working families with the rising cost of childcare through the Children’s Assistance Program (CAP).

With an increased focus on client self-sufficiency, BHH awards scholarships for qualified candidates to attend accredited vocational training classes that prepare them for careers in the healthcare, information technology, transportation, and hospitality industries. BHH also offers free English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes and courses in nutrition and other life skills. Staff and volunteer mentors counsel the unemployed and underemployed in basic workplace skills and help them polish resumes and search for jobs.

Charity Navigator named Boca Helping Hands a Four-Star Charity for the 14th Consecutive Year. Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432. For more information, please visit bocahelpinghands.org.

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