West Delray Residents Can Now Get Free Food, Financial Assistance
Boca Helping Hands Expands Hunger Relief Services & Financial Assistance In Delray Beach
Boca Raton, FL — Boca Helping Hands (BHH) has recently expanded its services in Delray Beach as part of its plan to help more people across Palm Beach County over the next three years. This includes making emergency financial assistance and childcare funding available to Delray Beach residents, as well as launching the organization’s first pantry distribution in west Delray Beach.
Previously limited to Boca Raton and Boynton Beach residents, BHH has made financial assistance for rent, utilities, and childcare expenses available to Delray Beach residents in crisis through its Resource Center. The plan is also to expand the program to Lantana/Lake Worth residents and eventually to the other zip codes in Palm Beach County that BHH serves.
The organization’s decision to service the west Delray Beach community came from the area’s lack of hunger relief services. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the area south of Atlantic Avenue on Jog Road is considered to have low access to healthy food sources combined with low income and a shortage of nearby food pantries. As a response to the growing need within this community, BHH has added bi-weekly distribution at Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Currently, Boca Helping Hands has five pantry distribution locations, including east Boca Raton, west Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Lantana/Lake Worth, and now Delray Beach. Since starting its biweekly food distribution in Delray Beach on October 5, the organization has served 129 families. There are 97 new registered families, and 33 are current clients who were previously traveling to further locations such as Boynton Beach or Boca Raton to pick up their pantry bags of groceries.
“We have been able to expand the footprint of our pantry bag distribution largely through the support of our partners in the faith community who have made their facilities available to us,” said Greg Hazle, Boca Helping Hands Executive Director. “We are happy to be working alongside Pastor Jules and his team at Bethel Evangelical Baptist Church to continue the expansion of our feeding program into Delray Beach. We hope our partnership will serve the needs of many food-insecure families in that community.”
Delray Beach Pantry Bag Program client Larence Winkler says the food helps him and his daughter. “Now that they’re closer, it makes it a whole bunch easier to get to. They’re great, the food is good, and the people are really nice.”
Information on how to register for the Pantry Bag Program, hours, and distribution locations can be found on BHH’s website at bocahelpinghands.org/pantrybagprogram.
The new Delray Beach service location will also become a fifth distribution site for the Boca Helping Hands Thanksgiving Box Brigade program, anticipated to feed a record 3,000 families in November. Now in its 17th year, the program provides each participant with a turkey and a box filled with all the ingredients needed to prepare a holiday meal.
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. Through its various programs, BHH assists over 27,000 people annually.
BHH distributes more than 80,000 pantry bags each year at five Palm Beach County locations and serves over 90,000 hot meals annually, six days per week. The organization expands access to affordable medical, dental and behavioral care through its partnerships with Genesis Community Health (serving clients at clinics in Boca Raton and Boynton Beach) and Florida Atlantic University’s Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Community Based Clinics (serving residents in West Palm Beach). In addition, 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, construction, and transportation industries. BHH also offers free English as a Second Language (ESOL) classes, courses in nutrition, and other life skills. In addition, staff and volunteer mentors counsel the unemployed and underemployed in basic workplace skills and help them polish resumes and search for jobs.
Boca Helping Hands is a partner agency of The Town of Palm Beach United Way. Since 1945, the Town of Palm Beach United Way has been committed to improving lives and building strong communities throughout Palm Beach County by focusing on programs and priorities that promote education, health, and financial stability.
Charity Navigator named Boca Helping Hands a Four-Star Charity for the 15th consecutive year in June 2021. Boca Helping Hands is located at 1500 NW 1st Court, Boca Raton, FL 33432. For more information, please visit bocahelpinghands.org.