WELLINGTON THE MAGAZINE – July 2020

Page 56

The Village Of Wellington Partners With Feeding South Florida To Help Those In Need

Feeding Thousands BY MIKE MAY

With all the economic uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, Wellington has partnered with Feeding South Florida to make sure that village residents and many other Palm Beach County neighbors don’t go hungry. Thanks to leadership from the Village of Wellington, people who are having financial difficulty buying food for themselves and their families are now receiving a helping hand.What’s great is that the price tag for the food is very affordable: it’s free. Every Tuesday morning from 9 to 11 a.m., fresh produce and perishable food items are being distributed to those in need at the Mall at Wellington Green, in the former Nordstrom parking lot between Dillard’s and Macy’s.This local effort is being conducted in conjunction with Feeding South Florida, the largest food bank serving Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. According to Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation Michelle Garvey, this Wellington effort is a response to the current COVID-19 crisis, which has impacted the ability of many families to buy food and feed themselves on a steady basis. Garvey is in charge of implementing this particular local pro-

The food distribution includes a wide array of fresh produce.

gram for the Village of Wellington. “This effort is so worth it,” she said. “We are simply trying to help community members get back on their feet.” In the early days of the pandemic, Wellington staged food giveaways at sites such as Village Park and the Wellington Community Center.The Wellington Green site was put into operation in early May and is continuing every

Tuesday until further notice. It is one of a number of area food sites offered with help from Feeding South Florida. Others are in Boynton Beach, Lake Worth Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. This weekly charitable effort in Wellington requires a small army to make it happen.According to Community Services Manager Jenifer Brito, 35 employees from the Village of Wellington and 20 to 25 local volunteers show up every Tuesday morning to distribute the food — rain or shine. The crew from the Village of Wellington comes from many of its divisions, such as parks and recreation, public works, community services and aquatics. One person who has been present every week is Wellington Mayor Anne Gerwig. “Mayor Gerwig is leading by example,” Garvey said. “The other members of the Wellington Village Council have been there, as well.” Local volunteers have come from several community organizations, such as the Rotary Club of Wellington and the Crowned Pearls of Wellington. There’s also a small contingent of deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation Michelle Garvey is in charge of implementing this particular local program for the Village of Wellington. “This effort is so worth it,” Garvey said. “We are simply trying to help community members get back on their feet.” 56 july 2020 | wellington the magazine