Food pantry available to residents on weekdays to help address high food insecurity rates in Miami-Dade County
In an effort to support the needs of residents and address higher-than-usual food insecurity rates within the City of Miami, the YMCA of South Florida, with partnership support from Bank of America, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County and The American Healthy Weight Alliance, has opened La Bodega, a community food pantry located in the Village of Allapattah YMCA at 2370 NW 17 Avenue in Miami.
As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), food insecurity refers to limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods or uncertain ability to acquire these foods in socially acceptable ways.
Food insecurity is associated with chronic health problems in adults including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, obesity and mental health issues including depression. According to the Florida Department of Health, in 2019 the food insecurity rate in Miami-Dade County was 16.1%, significantly above the state’s 12% average rate.
“There are those in our community that continue to face hardship and economic crises, and with that, comes food insecurity,” said YMCA South Florida CEO Sheryl Woods. “Every day, we work to strengthen the foundations of our community by addressing critical needs. Food insecurity is a real need where families, children and the elderly have limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Thanks to the support of our partners, we can change the trajectory of food insecurity in this community.”
Food distributions for residents are scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. on weekdays at La Bodega. Other services available include healthy food education, healthy cooking demonstrations, food home deliveries, dietician services, a community refrigerator with access to prepared food at all hours and access to the YMCA Health Navigation Program.
Aside from La Bodega, the Village of Allapattah YMCA has a Family Center and is a key provider of unique community health, wellness and family programs and activities for the community. Programs include adult and senior wellness, youth programs sports, health education and empowerment, health navigation and advocacy, food and community resources and more.