Support Palm Beach food drive, local

Palm Beach firefighter paramedic Austin Bradshaw helps load food for the Homeless Coalition of Palm Beach County in April 2023 as part of the Town of Palm Beach United Way's 10th annual Empty Your Pantry Food Drive.

In an interesting confluence of events, the Town of Palm Beach United Way’s annual Empty Your Pantry Food Drive launched the day before Forbes released its list of billionaires, of whom at least 58 own real estate in Palm Beach.

We thought we would take advantage of that timing to spread word about the food drive and encourage residents who don’t already do so to get involved in local charities.

The food drive, now in its 11th year, was the brainchild of Helen Berberian, who thought it was a great way for people heading back north after the season to help needy county residents. Hence the “Empty Your Pantry” name for the drive.

Of course, the charitable effort has expanded beyond that original idea, and the Town of Palm Beach United Way happily accepts monetary donations as well as any food that meets its criteria.

If you haven’t yet donated, the drive runs to April 15. Food donations can be dropped off at: Fire Station 1, 355 S. County Road; Fire Station 3, 2185 S. Ocean Blvd.; the United Way’s office, 44 Cocoanut Row; or Field of Greens locations in Palm Beach at 261 Royal Poinciana Way and in West Palm Beach at 412 Clematis St., 4802 S. Dixie Highway and 777 S. Flagler Drive, Suite 108.

Cash donations can be made online at Checks should be made payable to Town of Palm Beach United Way with “Food Drive” in the memo and mailed to the United Way office at 44 Cocoanut Row, Suite M201, Palm Beach, FL 33480.

Residents who are new to Palm Beach often have longtime experience supporting charities “back home,” and that’s a good thing. But there are plenty of opportunities to donate time and treasure in Palm Beach and the rest of Palm Beach County — and the need is great, as any of our local nonprofit agencies will tell you.

For residents who are looking to get involved in the community, the Town of Palm Beach United Way is one option. It is a well-regarded organization and has relationships with a variety of partner agencies, so offers a good one-stop shop.

But if you are, or previously were, involved in a charity that focuses on children, veterans, women, literacy, feeding the hungry or homelessness — just to choose a few examples — there are organizations in the county that work on these issues. We encourage you to do the research and find one that does the kind of work in which you want to be involved.

Palm Beachers have a reputation for being generous, hence the numerous galas and other events each season that aim to raise money for a myriad of charities. We encourage newer residents to find the causes that speak to them and reach out to help their neighbors in a meaningful way.

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