Whole Foods Market donates half-ton of food to Boca Helping Hands

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By: Dale King Contributing Writer
Whole Foods Market’s Boca Raton store at 1400 Glades Road has donated more than 500,000 pounds of food to Boca Helping Hands in the past five years.
Helping Hands provides food, medical and financial assistance as well as education, job training and guidance to help people find self-sufficiency. The agency has presented Whole Foods with a plaque honoring the local store’s achievement.
“Whole Foods Market was on the frontline of food recovery, and has been our most consistent partner for the past eight years,” said James Gavrilos, executive director of Boca Helping Hands. “The fuel needed to run our train consists of three parts: money, food and volunteers. Whole Foods Market has provided us with all three.”
Boca Helping Hands picks up donations from Whole Foods Market three times a week. More than half of what the store donates is produce (22 percent), dairy and cheese (26 percent) and prepared foods (13 percent).
Through food recovery, Whole Foods Market has provided 384,615 meals to local families through the partnership with Boca Helping Hands.
“Until a few years ago, you went to a food pantry and received cans of food and bread,” said Gavrilos. “The critical change that Whole Foods Market made was giving fresh produce and nutritionally rich products that we could put in the hands of the most nutritiously vulnerable groups.”