Homelessness and hunger in Palm Beach County - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Homelessness and hunger in Palm Beach County

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week starts Monday and Palm Beach County groups are joining in the effort.

Monday, groups like the United Way, Palm Beach County government leaders and the Palm Beach County Food Bank gathered to discuss issues like improving nutritional options in public school lunches and hunger relief efforts.

Executive Director Perry Borman of the Palm Beach County Food Bank says the need has spiked in recent years. "We've got a lot of working, tens of thousands of people who are, make too much money to actually qualify for food stamps, but not enough money to put food on the table. We have to do more as a community to help them," he said.

Palm Beach County School District is the 11th largest school system in the United States. About 57 percent of children who go to public school in the area qualify for free or reduced lunch. "We're going to be hiring a consultant, really focusing on assessing the needs at a more granular level. Start getting the issues of older adult hunger. How can we increase the number of kids who participate in the summer lunch program? Just a whole host of issues," Borman said.

The issue is not just one for homeless in Palm Beach County. "A single mother, with two or three children, that is probably living in an apartment, just paid their rent, and has no money to buy food is probably more of a common profile of who is going to a food pantry or a soup kitchen than someone who is homeless," Borman said.

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