Five Food Organizations You Should Support on Give Miami Day

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With Thanksgiving one week away, this is the time of year when thoughts turn to helping others. Whether we donate a million-dollar grant or invite a neighbor to dinner, we all take part in lifting up our community.

Today is the perfect opportunity to do your share. It's Give Miami Day, when the Miami Foundation helps nonprofits participating in this local day of charity by making bonus gifts for every donation between $25 and $10,000. The Miami Foundation, the community foundation for Miami-Dade County, does not collect any fees from participating organizations and charities and hosts Give Miami Day as part of its mission to promote philanthropy throughout Miami-Dade.

To participate in Give Miami Day, an organization must provide programs and/or services in Miami-Dade County and be listed as a 501(c)(3) public charity or have a preapproved philanthropic fund at the Miami Foundation. In addition, each organization must have a Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services Solicitation Certificate valid through November 17.

The event is open to the public, and anyone (even your out-of-town friends with deep pockets) can make a contribution at givemiamiday.org. The only catch: The event (and giving) ends at midnight, so get going and do some good in the world. So far, 6,934 people have donated a total of $2,426,934.

Though there are charities in almost every category, ranging from animal services to the arts and sciences, food charities are especially important in Miami. These organizations do everything from feeding schoolchildren to handing out baskets of food so people can have a decent Thanksgiving dinner.

So get out your wallet and give generously today. Your Thanksgiving dinner will taste so much better next week when you know you've helped others. You can donate to each organization listed below through givemiamiday.org.

1. Common Threads
The old saying goes that if you give a man a fish, he'll eat for one day, but if you teach him to fish, he can eat for a lifetime. Common Threads has a similar goal: Teach low-income children the importance of nutrition, and they can become agents of change for healthier families, schools, and communities. Kids are shown how to shop for inexpensive, nutritious meals and how to prepare them, creating both a healthy family meal now and a new generation of chefs in the future.

2. Feeding South Florida
Feeding South Florida's mission is to end hunger in South Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food. Through a network of more than 400 nonprofit partners, Feeding South Florida has helped 784,110 individuals locally.

3. Farm Share
This Homestead-based organization works with Florida's farmers to pick up donated fresh fruits and vegetables and get these items directly into the hands of low-income families. Farm Share works to both eliminate food waste and provide nutritious and essential food to locals who live in food deserts and who generally don't have ample access to fresh produce.

4. FLIPANY (Florida Introduces Physical Activity and Nutrition)
According to a 2012 CDC report, about half of all adults in the United States (117 million people) have one or more chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, or obesity. FLIPANY works to empower youth and adults through physical activity and nutrition programs so they can lead longer, healthier lives.

5. Thanksgiving Baskets Fund
The Thanksgiving Baskets Fund provides South Florida families in need with holiday food baskets that can feed six to eight people a complete and nutritious holiday meal. Most of these families wouldn't be able to provide food on the table if not for these baskets.

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