The Treasure Coast Food Bank announced that it will receive some emergency food assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The help comes after President Biden provided nearly $1.5 billion in federal aid. The aid will help food shortages in Sebastian, Florida. In addition, the food bank will distribute to other places in Indian River County.
The relief organization said that food banks, pantries, and other charitable food assistance programs had provided a record response during the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting 60 million individuals in 2020 and 53 million in 2021.
“This new investment will help Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin and Okeechobee counties begin alleviating the severe food shortage our food bank has been facing and help ensure people in our community do not need to make the difficult choice between putting food on the table and paying bills.”
Last year, the Treasure Coast Food Bank served 250,000 people. In 2020, USDA foods made up 38% of all food distributed by the Feeding America network – of which the Treasure Coast Food Bank is a member – translating to over 2.4 billion meals for community members in need.
“The demand for emergency food assistance remains well above pre-pandemic levels. But in 2022, food banks have struggled with a food supply crisis. Our food bank has been facing an unprecedented combination of supply chain disruptions, decreased donations of food and funds, and rapidly increasing costs for purchased food, transportation, cold storage and other operational needs,” the Treasure Coast Food Bank said.
The organization also said the food assistance would help close the gap between the amount of food we can provide and the hunger relief.
The Treasure Coast Food Bank says they are ready to distribute the upcoming emergency food aid as soon as possible to individuals and families facing hunger in our community.
The non-profit group also said the aid level would not have been possible without USDA food purchases.