Seagull Services has opened a food pantry, bringing fresh meats, produce and pantry staples to an area lacking in easy access to nutritious food.
The food pantry is operated out of Seagull’s charter school, Seagull Academy for Independent Living, and provides both its program participants and neighbors in the community with the opportunity to select the items they need twice a month. The first distributions took place this month.
“Getting a food pantry has been a longtime goal for us to assist the families of our students and other area families with their food needs,” said Barbara Nurenberg, president and CEO of Seagull Services. “We discovered that our school is located in… a food desert, so this brings great benefit to members of the community, as well as our students.”
Food deserts are areas where a low-income population has poor access to affordable, nutritious food because of a lack of major grocery stores, coupled with poor public transportation. Seagull Services is in partnership with Feeding South Florida to obtain the food for the need-based program.
The pantry will be open to individuals and families requiring supplemental food who live in the area of SAIL, located at 6250 N. Military Trail, just south of the Rapids Water Park. People wanting to obtain food from the SAIL food pantry need to fill out a simple three-question pre-registration at the school.
“There really wasn’t anything like this in our area during non-work hours, and we know the need is substantial,” said Linda Moore, COO of Seagull and principal of SAIL. “We’ve got a great variety of food I’d like to distribute to our community. With our pantry, you shop for what you will eat.”
Pre-registration takes only a few minutes. To prevent delays, SAIL can fax or e-mail a pre-registration form. People wanting to obtain food can complete the form, then return it on the next pantry day prior to shopping. People who have pre-registered are invited to shop anytime between 4 and 6 p.m. on pantry days. Next month, the pantry will be open March 10 and 31. SAIL also is looking for volunteers to help operate the pantry.
For more information, or to receive a pre-registration form, call Moore at (561) 540-8110.