Rows of bagged lunches for students.
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FLIPANY Flips the Script During Coronavirus Pandemic

Provider Spotlight: Nonprofit focuses on feeding needy students during crisis

The only constant is change. The new realities of our world have made the old axiom abundantly clear. Everything has changed and every individual must look at his or her behavior to figure out how they will have to change to come to grips with those realities. In the best case scenario, what we once did can be used to help us all get along today and in the future. 

If that scenario seems too cheerfully optimistic to you to be realistic, then you haven’t been paying attention to what the South Florida nonprofit FLIPANY has been doing over the past month since the coronavirus pandemic has swept across Florida, the nation and the planet. 

For 15 years, FLIPANY has brought health and wellness programming to South Florida through programs that fight hunger and obesity, while promoting physical education and other activities. They provide over a million healthy meals to after-school programs, summer camps and other youth programs a year, as well as deliver education on wellness and physical fitness. 

Though their usual work is critical to keeping Miami-Dade youth healthy, the new challenges created as a result of school closings and child care centers shuttering put a laser-like emphasis on getting children fed. So FLIPANY flipped the script.

For many South Florida children, school meals (including free breakfast in Miami-Dade schools and free or reduced lunches) represent the only nutritious meals they receive all day. Often their school lunch is their last meal of the day. Now that those meals are no longer available, FLIPANY realized it has to help fill the void to ensure that students and their families have nutritious meals while away from school.

Working with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, FLIPANY is providing FREE grab-and-go breakfast and lunch to children 18 years and under during the extended school closures.   

The meals are available for pickup at various times per location, usually at the parent drop-off areas of the school/site and available for walk-ups. According to FLIPANY’s website, those who drive up will be handed meals through the vehicle window. Students must be with parents or another adult when they are picking up meals and families can go to school nearest them to pick up food even if they do not attend that school.  

“They have stepped up and taken a lead on becoming a source of light for families during this dark time. FLIPANY has always been a special program,” said Shawnalee Vassell, Program Manager at The Children’s Trust.

Although FLIPANY’s actions and those of other agencies to help feed those in need have been heroic so far, they will need help as the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic stretches over many weeks. For those looking to support FLIPANY’s commitment to feeding families, the organization has set up an Emergency Fund for donations on its website

Sign Up to Become a Community Feeding Site 
Can your site be a community feeding site? FLIPANY is looking for partners to join them by becoming a Community Feeding Site as a part of their hunger relief efforts in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. If interested, please complete this questionnaire. If you have an urgent request, please contact FLIPANY directly via email at bmurray@flipany.org.