Update: Purity Wholesale Grocers just upped the ante by $25,000. That means Boca Helping Hands’ annual matching campaign is now looking for donations to total $225,000.
The main source of food for 27,000 people during this pandemic, Boca Helping Hands didn’t have to pivot. Their annual matching campaign is always the reach-out this time of year. “We do this every year from November through December. You can contribute and get it doubled,” said executive director Greg Hazle.
At the same time, supporters can also donate to their annual Thanksgiving Box Brigade. https://www.bocahelpinghands.org/
“This is our biggest fundraiser. Clearly with what’s happening with the pandemic and the economic impacts, we just want to operate in the new normal,” Hazle said.
BHH did have to pivot from serving hot meals in their center downtown to drive-thrus at all their locations. They also have distribution sites in west Boca, Boynton Beach and the newest in Lantana. “We’re already serving 100 families, there,” he said.
They also took their job training and second-language classes online. “We had to make adjustments anticipating they’ll continue,” Hazle said.
“We signed up 4,000 new families since Covid for the pantry bag program, groceries for the week. People are receiving a lot of food, thanks to the federal government,.” he said. That includes excess produce and other items not normally available.
“Traffic has stabilized. It’s not out of control. We had a long line this morning,” Hazle said earlier this week. “It’s going down. We saw before the pandemic they’re in jobs that can’t make ends meet.”
Their goal is “to match the full amount,” Hazle said. “We want to issue a challenge to our community and have them meet that challenge. We really want to encourage people to participate and their friends and neighbors who want to help. This is the right time to be a contributor to Boca Helping Hands because you double your contribution.”
By Marci Shatzman