LABELLE — According to Harry Chapin’s research, “Hendry County has a population of 39,064 with an overall food-insecure population of 5,130 — of that group, 2,500 are children.” Food insecurity is a term used for the predicament of people being without reliable access to nutritious food. The situation has only grown worse during the COVID-19 crisis.
Throughout the month, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) has conducted large food giveaways via drive-thru. Boxes of fresh produce and some other nutritious items such as milk, cheese and butter, have been given away, hoping to address the excess loads that have been placed on local food banks, in the midst of this pandemic and the many who have lost income.
This past Saturday, Oct. 3, Johnny Jackson gathered with some friends and volunteers in Barron Park to offer free meals to anyone who came by. Park visitors were also encouraged to register to vote, regardless of party affiliation. As the last meal was served, the clouds opened up and sideways rain poured down to end the day’s activities. Jackson and his group of volunteers ended up feeding just over 340 people within four hours.
The same group of volunteers plans to repeat a meal giveaway in Montura next Saturday. That project is still in the planning stages. For more information, you can contact Johnny Jackson by emailing: email@example.com.
The HCSO also continues to organize food giveaways. They announce these events on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hendrysheriff/