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Produce, hot meals distribution at Tavernier Towne Center this Thursday


By Jim McCarthy - May 6, 2020


A free food distribution set for Thursday, May 7 at Tavernier Towne Center will look to help feed hundreds of families in the local area.


Florida Keys Farm & Market Co-op and Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors are teaming up to host a Farm Share event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center, located at MM 91.2, bayside, in Tavernier. In total, 500 bags of produce grown out of Homestead will be given out to people who drive up. Hot meals will also be provided courtesy of Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors, the nonprofit that’s collaborated with a number of businesses up and down the Keys for feedings. 


“Florida Keys Farm & Market Co-op is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create new and alternative food sources for the Florida Keys, including community supported agriculture and fish and farm cooperatives,” said owner Candice McCarthy. “We’re excited for our first — and hopefully of many — farm share events and collaborations with Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors to support feeding our local community.”


The drive-through event is first come, first serve. With produce shipped from Homestead via Farm Share, Florida Keys Farm & Market Co-op and Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors will supply the tables, tents and volunteers. 


Farm Share was established in 1991 based on the simple idea to distribute fresh food free of charge to families, children, seniors and individuals throughout the state. Farm Share operates out of Homestead and serves south Dade County. In the Upper Keys, Farm Share transports produce to places like Burton Memorial Methodist Church’s pantry, among others. 


The nonprofit Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors formed just over 40 days ago when Gov. Ron DeSantis called for a closure of all dine-in at restaurants. To date, more than 25,000 meals have been served to island residents from Key Largo to Key West. 


With DeSantis announcing 25% dine-in capacity effective May 4, Forster, who owns Mangrove Mike’s Cafe, says he isn’t ready to open his restaurant and end the free meal distribution just yet.


“We do not have any plans in the near future to stop this much needed service to over 1,600 Monroe County residents a day, and unfortunately growing,” Forster said. 


Forster and McCarthy say they’re grateful for Tavernier Towne Center and Commodore Realty Inc. for allowing them to host the event at their location. 


To learn more about Mangrove Mike’s Endeavors, visit www.mangrovemikesendeavors.com/. To learn more about Florida Keys Farm & Market Co-op, visit Florida Keys Farm Facebook page

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