Food pantries in Polk County Florida administer programs that rely on donations. Volunteers acquire groceries and food products for low income families, seniors, working poor and the disabled. Items are collected through canned drives, donations, regional food bank programs or direct purchase.
The non-profit organizations, including churches, pantries, and other charities in Polk County, then distribute the food for free or low cost to people who are faced with an emergency situation. In addition, some pantries have volunteers that will deliver either a hot meal or box of groceries to people whose illnesses or disabilities make it difficult for them to leave home. Meals on Wheels are also available for seniors who are homebound.
Most of the centers also can distribute information on government assistance, such as food stamps or WIC vouchers. The charity run centers may also offer other services, like clothing, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, and much more. They can run homeless shelters, meal programs and partner with other human service agencies and charities.
First United Methodist Church of Haines City - House Blest
Address is 114 South Second Street
Haines City, Florida 33844
Primary phone number is (863) 421-9115
The church has an onsite food pantry. It can distribute emergency food, groceries, and meals to the needy. Other resources for Polk County families include guidance, referrals, and information on such services as clothing or shelters.
Salvation Army - Social Services (Lakeland)
Address of center - 830 Massachusetts Avenue N
Lakeland, Florida 33801
Primary phone number – (863) 682-8179
Social services and programs include Soup Kitchens, Congregate Meals/Nutrition Sites, Food Pantries, Holiday Programs, Outreach and more. While very limited, cash can be offered on a limited basis for expenses such as utilities, rent, mortgage, and other public assistance.
Family Emergency Services of Winter Haven
Address: 320 Avenue T, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Dial (863) 294-1939
If you are faced with a crisis, then apply for Temporary Financial Assistance. This can help people pay for bills including food, meals, and groceries. Polk County residents can also meet with a social worker to apply for WIC or SNAP food stamps. A number of low income programs are run.
First United Methodist Church of Haines
Address of church - 21 S. Second Street
Haines City, Florida 33844
Call (863) 422-1290
Mulberry Community Service Center
301 NE 5th Street
Mulberry, FL 33860
Telephone number - (863) 425-1523
Food pantries can provide Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, free new or gently used clothing, and financial help. May also have government surplus food.
Davenport Church of God
Address: 308 South Blvd W
Davenport, Florida 33837
Telephone number is (863) 422-2274
A food bank is run. Perishable items, fruits, breads, and other items are offered.
Location of the food bank is 1232 E. Magnolia
Lakeland Florida 33801
3406 Swindell Rd.
Lakeland FL 33810
Telephone number is 813-716-1541
Whether it is a box of food for a low income family or clothing or paper goods, assistance is available. There are also holiday food boxes available from time to time from the charity.
Redeemer Lutheran Church
Location is 390 E Parker Ave
Bartow, FL 33830
Call (863) 533-6054 to access the pantry and services offered.
Volunteers at the church can also refer people to local non-profits and charity type organizations.
Central Baptist Community Ministries - Emergency Services
Location is 815 S Central Ave
Lakeland, Florida 33815
Programs and resources offered in Polk County include Furniture, Appliances, Clothing, and Food Pantries. Also get information on both federal and state of Florida government assistance.
First Love Church Of God In Christ
Address - 4140 Church St.
Bartow Florida 33831
An emergency pantry is on site. Depending on donations, there may be boxes of groceries, baby formula, hygiene items, and even delivered meals to senior citizens.
Those are just a sampling of agencies to turn to for free food in Polk County. There are many other charities as well as government programs that feed the hungry. There may be weekend backpacks of food provided for students, Thanksgiving or Christmas meal sites for families in poverty, and USDA programs, among many others. Call 813.254.1190 for referrals.
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