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With the acute phases of Covid diminishing, Covid-related funding and assist are additionally diminishing. However, worsening financial circumstances are maintaining the necessity for primary helps and companies as excessive because the early months of Covid when the economic system shut down. Far from with the ability to return to pre-Covid ranges of service, the St. Pete Free Clinic finds itself needing to step up much more.
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2021, hourly wages within the US elevated by 3.6%. However, present charges of inflation gave the typical employee a 2% pay reduce. The actuality is that just about 50% of our neighbors in Pinellas County work exhausting daily, typically holding a couple of job, and nonetheless should make powerful selections every month, like whether or not to pay the utility invoice or purchase groceries for his or her household,” stated Jennifer Yeagley, CEO of SPFC.
“SPFC desires to ensure our neighbors don’t have to make these sorts of selections. We are excited to share upcoming expansions that may enable us to do extra to assist individuals fill gaps, keep wholesome, and ease the stress of untenable circumstances.”
Expansion of Food Distribution Facilities
Food distribution from the Jared S. Hecktkopf Community Food Bank, known as Jared’s Food Bank, has greater than doubled over the previous two years. In 2019, SPFC distributed 11.9 million kilos of meals. In 2021, SPFC distributed 20.4 million kilos. SPFC is increasing capability with the addition of a warehouse, on 22nd Avenue South, triple the dimensions of Jared’s Food Bank, to permit the group to develop its operation and to achieve much more companions who’re under-served.
Expansion of Food Distribution Methods, Locations, and Hours
SPFC supplied meals for over 20,000 people in February 2022, a double-digit share enhance over this time final 12 months. While the necessity to serve extra individuals than ever is persistent, so is the necessity to present elevated selection and entry.
For security and to accommodate considerably elevated quantity in households served, the SPFC We Help FRESH Pantry has operated out of the group’s car parking zone at its downtown location during the last two years. On June 6, the FRESH Pantry will return to an indoor “consumer selection” mannequin, permitting people to pick the gadgets they obtain.
SPFC can even proceed to offer drive-through choices for busy working households or those that could not be capable to simply entry the indoor FRESH pantry. Also on June 6, SPFC will relocate its drive-through to 2 new places:
Jared S. Hechtkopf Community Food Bank
3115 forty fourth Ave N, St. Pete 33714
Tuesday and Friday 2- p.m.
22nd Street South Revitalization Area
2198 15th Avenue South St. Pete 33712
Monday and Wednesday 2-6 p.m.
The 22nd Street drive-through location is in a constructing owned by Elihu and Carolyn Brayboy (Mr. and Mrs. B), the house owners of Chief’s Creole Café and leaders of their very own nonprofit referred to as Making Opportunities Materialize. Mr. B shares, “Mrs. B and I have been raised in South St. Pete, and we actually have a coronary heart for the individuals of this space. This new location is in a meals desert, and it’s an honor to companion with St. Pete Free Clinic to carry wholesome meals choices to this neighborhood. This one step could make life much less irritating by offering entry to these on this neighborhood. They not have to depart the neighborhood and discover their means downtown to get meals! We are excited to be part of the twenty second Street South Revitalization space, also referred to as the Deuces.”
Continued Expansion of Mobile We Help FRESH Pantry Locations
In addition to expanded places, hours, and drive-through choices, SPFC will proceed to supply further cell pantries in underserved areas in mid and north Pinellas County, making certain all meals and vitamin insecure areas within the county have constant entry to high quality meals.
Sheryl Zeitler is Communications Director of the St. Pete Free Clinic. To be taught extra about SPFC, go to www.thespfc.org.