This holiday season is going to look quite different for all of us. In the midst of a global pandemic, we have been forced to adjust to nationwide lockdowns, COVID-related restrictions and ongoing social isolation. While we all crave a return to normalcy, Thanksgiving dinners across the country will likely be smaller and more intimate than ever before. Still, many of us will be able to gather with our loved ones and enjoy a hearty meal – however, it is important to realize that not every family will be granted this luxury. As a result of the pandemic, many men and women are now facing extreme financial insecurity and job loss. Many families do not know where their next meal is going to come from. Fortunately, the community at large can work together to make a positive impact on those who are struggling. Join Guardian IOP for this year’s Thanksgiving food drive by donating food to a local charity.
Every year we organize a food drive among our employees and staff members. We gather canned goods and other non-perishable food items and give the donated food to a local charity. We also accept donations from the community – if you are not able to donate to the charity directly, get in touch with us and we will do what we can to make sure your donations get to the right place. At Guardian IOP we believe in the importance of donating to charities geared towards helping less fortunate members of society, so that they can enjoy the holidays the way we all deserve to. for more information on our annual Thanksgiving food drive or for additional resources feel free to reach out to us at any point in time.
Substance Abuse and The Need For Food
Substance abuse and food insecurity are largely interlinked. Those who have been abusing a chemical substance for any extended period of time are far more likely to experience financial insecurity, which leads to a lack of adequate nutrition (due to an inability to afford nutritious food). Homelessness and substance abuse are also very closely interlinked, and many of the charities we donate to on an annual basis are dedicated to helping the homeless population throughout the local community. The National Coalition for the Homeless reported that roughly 38 percent of homeless men and women were dependent on alcohol and roughly 26 percent of homeless men and women abused other chemical substances. Not only is substance abuse a leading cause of homelessness, but homelessness is also a cause of substance abuse. Those who do not have adequate shelter or access to food are more likely to abuse chemical substances as a means of self-medication. At Guardian IOP we want to do everything in our power to ensure that community members in need are receiving all of the help they deserve, whatever that might look like. One of the main ways we give back is by organizing annual charitable events like our Thanksgiving food drive.
The Importance of Giving Back
Not only does organizing an annual Thanksgiving food drive allow us to give back to community members in need, but participating in charitable events has a lasting positive impact on our clients. while we do not expect our clients to directly donate canned goods or other non-perishable food items, they do have the opportunity to work hands-on with local charities in sorting, delivering and sometimes serving food to those who are less fortunate. We believe that regular volunteer work is essential to the maintenance of long-term recovery in the sense that it fosters gratitude and helps clients understand that the longer they stay sober, the more opportunity they have to make a positive impact on others. Many of our clients report that participating in our annual Thanksgiving food drive and in our other charitable events makes a lasting impact, and is a highlight of their year. For more information on all of the charitable events that we participate in on a regular basis feel free to reach out at any point in time.
Local Resources in Palm Beach and Broward County in South Florida
Below are some of the local organizations that we work with during our Thanksgiving food drive. For more information on any one of these local organizations, feel free to visit the link below or contact us directly.
Palm Beach County Food Bank
525 Gator Drive
Lantana, Florida 33462
The Palm Beach County Food Bank is dedicated to alleviating hunger and Palm Beach County. The organization was first developed in 2009 by a group of men and women who were frustrated by the lack of community response to prevalent hunger issues that could not be adequately addressed by existing resources. Currently, the organization fights hunger through four main programs: Food Recovery and Distribution, Food 4 Our Kids, Benefits Outreach and Marjorie S. Fisher Nutrition Driven. According to the Palm Beach County Food Bank website, during the 2019 to 2020 fiscal year, the organization distributed more than 10 million pounds of food totaling more than $16 million. The collected food donations are distributed to nearly 200,000 residents of Palm Beach County who are currently struggling with food insecurity.
The organization is currently accepting numerous food items for their annual Thanksgiving food drive. For more information on this specific food drive, on more events or on the organization as a whole visit their website link.
United Way of Palm Beach County
477 S. Rosemary Ave., Suite 230
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
United Way of Palm Beach County is currently preparing for their 30th year of Project Thanksgiving, an event geared towards raising money and collecting food supplies to provide neighbors in need with a hearty holiday meal. The United Way website states that nearly 300,000 Palm Beach County residents don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, and 53,000 of those residents are children under the age of 18. The website also states that it only takes a $20 donation to feed an entire family of four.
There are several ways in which to donate to project thanksgiving. Follow the link below to donate online, donate via text message or donate by a check made payable to United Way of PBC/Project Thanksgiving. The organization encourages hosting a local food drive with friends, family or colleagues, or participating in this year’s virtual food drive option. As Guardian IOP is hosting a Thanksgiving food drive we are accepting donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items from community members as well. For more information visit their website link.
Place of Hope
Every year, Place of Hope organizes a canned food drive that takes place from November 1st through the 22nd in preparation for the holiday season. Donations can be dropped off Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at two locations including:
North County – Place of Hope’s Paxson Campus
9078 Isaiah Lane
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418
South County – Place of Hope at The Leighan and David Rinker Campus
21441 Boca Rio Road
Boca Raton, Florida 33433
Some of the items that Place of Hope is still in need of include box stuffing mix, instant mashed potatoes, jars of turkey gravy, candy yams, cranberry sauce, canned veggies, cornbread mix, canned pumpkin or fruit pie filling, pie crust mix, box macaroni and cheese, rice, cans of beans, boxes of jello or pudding mix, canned fruits, juice and sparkling water, eggnog, peanut butter, paper goods including paper plates, paper towels and napkins, and serving utensils. For more information on the charity organization or for a more comprehensive list of their needs, follow their website link.
The Soup Kitchen
8645 W. Boynton Beach Blvd.
Boynton Beach, Florida 33472
The Soup Kitchen is a non-profit organization in Boynton Beach, Florida. In addition to providing canned and non-perishable food, hot food and bags of groceries to local community members in need, the organization provides clothing, furniture, English classes, toys for children, a Christmas Santa visit and an annual Thanksgiving turkey feast so that community members can enjoy the holiday season in the way that they were intended to. Every year, volunteers are needed in order to help cook, distribute and serve food during the annual Thanksgiving feast, and food donations are accepted either at the location or at a food drive organized by another local organization like Guardian IOP. for more information on the ways in which you can get involved, visit their website link.
Guardian IOP – Comprehensive Clinical Care
Guardian IOP offers a comprehensive level of clinical care, one that focuses on personal healing and on healing the community as a whole. For more information on our program of recovery or to learn more about how you can get directly involved in our annual Thanksgiving food drive reach out at any time, we are available 24/7.