A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.
Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.
Jinny Botwin, Farm Share’s operations manager, says this means extra money for trucking.
“All of this goes to transportation,” she says. “We are trying to reach more people… and produce has a narrow window for delivery.”
Last year, the organization delivered food to more than a million people and collected around 25 million pounds of food.
Farm Share works in a public-private partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which provides warehouse facilities, support staff, equipment, and with the Florida Department of Corrections which brings inmates to help in sorting and packaging.