Palm Beach County Food Bank expedites food assistance applications

Palm Beach County Food Bank expedites food assistance applications

The holiday season is on the horizon and that’s prompting more families to sign up for food assistance.

Mario Mendez is noticing the spike in demand over recent weeks at Thanksgiving nears.

“During Thanksgiving I have new applicants all the time,” said Mendez. “It’s non-stop.”

He’s one of several Palm Beach County Food Bank benefit specialists who are assisting people with the SNAP application process.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has expanded benefit sign-ups to eight locations within the Palm Beach County Library System.

According to the United Way of Palm Beach County, more than 300,000 people are currently considered food insecure.

The appointment usually takes about 30 minutes, but ultimately streamlines the application process.

“We’re like a liason,” said Mendez. “Whenever there’s an error on the application we can send an email and they will quickly respond back. It is a confidential process.”

There’s an average 30-day waiting period to receive SNAP benefits from the Florida Department of Children and Families.

However, the process is expedited if the Palm Beach County Food Bank submits the application.

“We eliminate that interview process if they go through us,” said Mendez. “The pending period would be lowered down to a week. We try to keep ourselves updated with the policies and procedures.”

Specialists can also help with other benefit applications available through the ACCESS Florida system including Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Applicants must call to make an appointment at the following locations:

Greenacres Branch

Mondays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

3750 Jog Road, Greenacres 33467

Contact: Gustavo Amador, 329-5931

(English and Spanish)

Jupiter Branch

Mondays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

705 Military Trail, Jupiter 33458

Contact: Mario Mendez, 345-5085

(English, Spanish and Q’anjob’al)

Main Library

Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

3650 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach 33406

Contact: Riquet Lucien (English and Creole), James Vil (English and Spanish), 233-2600

Hagen Ranch Road Branch

Tuesdays, 1 - 4 p.m.

14350 Hagen Ranch Road, Delray Beach 33446

Contact: James Vil, 894-7500

(English and Creole)

Glades Road Branch

1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

20701 95th Avenue South, Boca Raton 33434

Contact: Mario Mendez, 345-5085

(English, Spanish and Q’anjob’al)

Okeechobee Boulevard Branch

1st & 3rd Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

5689 Okeechobee Boulevard, West Palm Beach 33417

Contact: Riquet Lucien, 316-0895

(English and Creole)

Royal Palm Beach Branch

2nd & 4th Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

500 Civic Center Way, Royal Palm Beach 33411

Contact: Riquet Lucien, 790-6030

(English and Creole)

Lantana Road Branch

Fridays, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

4020 Lantana Road, Lake Worth 33462

Contact: Mario Mendez, 345-5085

(English, Spanish and Q’anjob’al)

Members must make appointments by calling the numbers above. They can also email the food bank to schedule appointments or ask questions.

Due to COVID-19:

· Appointments will be made for one client per hour.

· The required Florida Department of Children and Families food stamp interview will be completed on-site, but interaction will be minimal and brief with 6-foot distancing to follow safety guidelines. Benefits specialists will follow up over the phone if needed.

· Clients must wear face masks when inside the library.

· All clients are expected to arrive on time for their scheduled appointments, not before or after.

· If you are sick, please do not book an appointment.

Please contact the Palm Beach County Food Bank at 561-670-2518 or Benefits@pbcfoodbank.org for assistance.

Where to find food:

An interactive tool using Google Maps to help people easily locate free food and hot meals in Palm Beach County. This online tool was created to connect individuals seeking food resources to sites near them. Information is English, Spanish, and Creole. United Way updates the information listed on this map weekly. However, locations and hours of distribution may change. Please consider calling the site prior to visiting to verify the information listed. Please note that sites may have specific requirements such as ID. Click here to view the map.

If you would like to include your organization's resources on the map, please fill out this Food Finder Interest Form.

· Click here for 211's comprehensive summary of food sites - when you click this link, please scroll down for links to information about Food Sites/Pantry Information/Food Distribution information.

· Click here to find food through Feeding South Florida

· Click here to find food through Palm Beach County Food Bank

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