New Polk Food Bank Needs Volunteers As Donations Rise

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LAKE WALES, Fla .– A new food bank in Polk County has already distributed more than $ 15 million in food to those in need, but they need more help.

Every Monday you’ll find Melissa Hilligoss in Lake Wales at Midwest Food Bank Florida, where she volunteers. She has been volunteering for almost a year now.

“It takes you in the bones. There is just something about this place. The atmosphere is amazing, the people are amazing. It’s addicting, ”Hilligoss said.

The retired teacher especially enjoys making Hope Packs for low-income students.

“It provides them with a nutritious meal on weekends, because most of the time these students come to school to eat and on the weekends they don’t have access to good nutrition, so these packs help them. support them on the weekends, ”says Hilligoss.

Midwest Food Bank Florida collects food and hygiene donations and distributes them to partner agencies, including pantries and churches. They opened a warehouse in Polk County in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, and have seen their distribution numbers increase by more than 130%.

“We just received a large donation from Clorox. We have given several pallets of Clorox disinfectant to prisons for them to disinfect, ”said Ken White, community relations manager for Midwest Food Bank Florida.

The food bank relies 100% on donations and volunteers, who are their lifeline and which they always need.

“Because I came and gave a little sweat equity, a few families will be better off for this,” Hilligoss said.

If you would like to become a volunteer, you can register here.

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