Nonprofits providing holiday food receive support

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and, for many, the past few days were a break from constantly busy routines to enjoy time with family and friends. For numerous nonprofits across the county, however, the past few days were even busier than normal as they set out to provide meals for those Polk County residents in need.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, 13.8% (1.1 million) of Florida households were reported to be food insecure, which means the household was uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because of insufficient money or other resources for food, during some point in 2014. Nonprofits in our community tackle this problem on a daily basis. Many of these organizations provide some sort of food assistance throughout the year to their clients, but will provide traditional holiday food items or expand their services for specific meals in November and December.

To help support their efforts and provide further impact, a fundholder within the GiveWell Community gave grants to 14 nonprofit organizations from around the county. Johnna Martinez, the GiveWell Community Foundation Grants Manager, and other staff members visited some of these nonprofit organizations to see firsthand how these grants will impact the community.

These grants are estimated to serve 43,000 individuals during November and December. Some organizations will provide hot meals, while others will provide boxes of grocery items that can be used to make dozens of meals. Some meals are delivered and others are served or distributed at the organization. While each organization will use its grant a little differently, the primary focus is the same – help individuals and families in need with fresh, healthier food options to make their holidays a little brighter.

For more information on how you can help support nonprofits during the holiday season, email Grants Manager, Johnna Martinez, at