“Where Does All of This Food Come From?”

“Where Does All of This Food Come From?”
By: Bill Harper, Director of Food and Warehouse Operations

_46A1603_0.jpgWalk into Boca Helping Hands on any given day and you will witness a flurry of activity. A small army of volunteers is in the kitchen cooking up a delicious meal that will feed countless hungry people while another set of troops is in the warehouse packing up bags of groceries, frozen meat and fresh produce to be handed out to needy families. This is just another typical day at Boca Helping Hands, but the question that is voiced most often is, “where does all of this food come from?”

On this particular day, the entrée happens to be leftovers from a party at The Addison with the mashed potatoes coming from The Capital Grille. The vegetables are from Seasons 52 with the soup of the day compliments of The Cheesecake Factory. The fruit salad has components from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market and Edible Arrangements with the desserts having been donated by Publix or Costco.

Taking a look in a pantry bag we find a box of cereal from a food drive at Verde Elementary School, a can of fruit, tomato sauce, and pinto beans courtesy of the USDA, a can of soup and can of corn donated by a local family, a couple of beverages from Winn Dixie, some crackers, cookies, and chips from our local Walmart and Target stores, and a loaf of bread and cake or pie from Publix.

The frozen meat consists of ground beef and hot dogs from Publix, chicken breasts from Target, and deli meat from Winn Dixie. The fresh produce is an assortment of fruits and vegetables from places like Publix, Target, Winn Dixie, Whole Foods and Trader Joes with occasional donations from a local School or Community Garden.  

The short answer to “where does all of this food come from?” is YOU. The community. The food comes from your local supermarkets, superstores and bakeries. It comes from the school your child attends, your place of Worship, and your civic organization where you belong. It comes from your favorite upscale or fast-casual restaurant or the local business that is holding a food drive. We cannot do what we do without the support of you and our local community.