Star of the Sea Foundation (SOS) was founded in 2006 to increase the health and well-being of low-income individuals and families in Monroe County, Florida via our client-choice food pantry. Client-choice food pantries allow clients to select their own foods, enabling them to choose items they can actually utilize, that are culturally relevant, and sensitive to different dietary restrictions. This results in more satisfied clients and significant reduction in food waste.
As one of the largest pantries in South Florida, SOS currently distributes fresh produce, meats, dairy products, breads, and canned goods to over 10,000 unduplicated individuals each year as well as 35 different agencies that serve children, veterans, seniors, and the homeless across Monroe County. Utilizing primarily volunteer support, SOS distributes 2,000,000 pounds of food annually to these underserved populations. As nutrition and healthy eating are both key focuses of our organization, more than 50% of the food we distribute is fresh produce. Most recently, SOS has expanded its efforts via the Community Kitchen and Nutrition Education program.