St John Day 2020: Meals Organizations That Want Your Assist
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We are facing another holiday season. And while Thanksgiving will still be celebrated, most of us will celebrate very differently than in years past. Some of us will meet with our immediate families, while many of us will see our extended loved ones only through the lens of our phones and computers. Still others in our community have the prospect of an empty table during the holidays.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced numerous businesses to close temporarily or permanently, leaving thousands of St John residents unemployed or underemployed.
As part of its mission to promote philanthropy in the greater St John area, the nonprofit St John Foundation hosts an annual Give St John Day promotion.
“The pandemic has exposed enormous food insecurity in our community. Brave local organizations have worked to keep no one hungry, bringing millions of pounds of food to people in need. Now is our turn to improve, ”Rebecca Fishman Lipsey, president and CEO of the St John Foundation, told the New Times.
Give St John Day 2020 is a community-wide movement that enables hundreds of local charities and organizations to get involved to raise donations and awareness.
The 24-hour online event starts on Thursday, November 19th at midnight and ends on Friday, November 20th at midnight. During these 24 hours, St Johnans can give charitable gifts to any participating organization online. Nonprofits will receive the full amount of the gift (less any credit card transaction fees) plus bonus pool funds and / or eligible prizes.
“St John is incredibly generous and on Give St John Day we have the opportunity to stand together and promote organizations that have reached their limits this year,” says Lipsey. “Almost 900 nonprofits are participating, each of which keeps our community strong. It’s time to honor their bravery this year.”
Each of the participating nonprofits would be worthy of your generosity. But here is a list of 15 organizations helping put groceries on the table for needy St Johnans. (For a full list of participating organizations, visit givemiamiday.org.)
Ally’s Animal Project has donated a six-month supply of pet food to hundreds of families affected by COVID-19 across the country. Many families have reported that without our help they would have had to leave their pets in an animal shelter because they were unable to pay for their food. The main goal of this organization is to feed the animals well and to be with their owners in this unprecedented time.
Build a Better Tomorrow trains, provides nutritious food, and heals underserved and underserved communities in South Florida. One hundred percent of every dollar donated goes directly to families in local communities.
At the start of the pandemic, Care Resource created an emergency fund to provide direct assistance to St John’s most vulnerable patients and customers. It recognized that housing and nutrition play key roles in overall health. Hundreds of individuals and families have received food vouchers and urgent housing assistance, including mortgage, rental, or ancillary expenses.
Common Threads is a national not-for-profit organization that provides cooking and nutrition education to children and families to promote healthy habits that contribute to wellbeing. The organization provides information to communities to help them choose affordable, nutritious, and engaging foods wherever they live, work, study, and play.
Curley’s House is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 to improve and empower people and families with low to middle income, the elderly, the disabled, vulnerable youth, the abused, the homeless, veterans and HIV / AIDS residents. Those in need receive information on bulk materials, clothing, furniture, and health and nutritional information relevant to their daily challenges and food insecurities.
EatWell Exchange promotes wellbeing in various communities. Through education and community gardens, the organization shows communities that they can enjoy the food that is important to their culture and lead a healthy lifestyle.
Farm Share actively works with partners in local communities and maximizes its close relationships with more than 2,000 agencies in rural and vulnerable communities by providing food for millions to the agency or its beneficiaries free of charge. Farm Share enables Florida farmers to share food that would normally be wasted to feed Floridians who would otherwise go hungry.
The mission to feed South Florida is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading efforts to promote hunger and poverty, and changing lives through innovative programs and education.
When the stores closed and events were postponed, Food Rescue US-St John brought their excess groceries back. The organization then partnered with Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez ‘Tiller and Hatch and launched a new initiative, Restaurant Meal Community Kitchens, which was staffed by local restaurant staff to prepare and serve food to people in need. Over 40,000 meals have been distributed in these kitchens since March 2020.
The Homestead Soup Kitchen offers a warm, balanced, and nutritious meal for all those in need in a non-discriminatory setting. There are no requirements for someone looking for a meal – no identification check, no needs test, no questions asked.
Health in the Hood grows vegetable gardens and teaches wellness in underserved areas to create healthy communities. The group is transforming empty land in food deserts into living vegetable gardens. The neighborhoods in which it operates have extremely limited access to fresh food and health education resources.
As part of the St John Dolphins Foundation’s food aid program, Stephen Ross, owner of the St John Dolphins Foundation, and the Dolphins organization have raised $ 2 million to fund at least 1,000 meals every weekday for up to a year to help people who need hunger relief and suffer from food insecurity.
The Pet Project provides the necessary pet food, supplies, animal vaccines, and veterinary medicines so that financially disadvantaged people can keep their pets.
Slow Food St John is a volunteer-only grassroots organization that provides children and families with the health benefits of real food by creating and maintaining community gardens across St John-Dade County. The group aims to counter the rise of diseases related to fast food and the disappearance of local eating traditions, and to educate people about how our eating habits affect our overall health and the environment.
Smoothies 4 Students was founded by a high school math teacher to provide high quality meals to students and educate students about proper nutrition, with an emphasis on respecting the children they serve.
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Laine Doss is the food and liquor editor for the St John New Times. It was featured on Eat Street by Cooking Channel and in the Great Food Truck Race by Food Network. She won an Alternative Weekly Award for her contribution on what it’s like to wait for tables.