BEAM sees ‘historic levels of need’ amid pandemic

Since January, the organization has supplied more than 1 million pounds of food to those in need at the beaches

FILE - Volunteers stock the pantry at BEAM. (WJXT)

The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry continues to serve an influx of families who have been hit hard by COVID-19.

The organization has supplied more than 1 million pounds of food to at-risk populations since January.

Lori Richards, executive director of BEAM, said the need for assistance is unprecedented.

“Since April, we have continued to see historic levels of need,” explained Richards.

According to Richards, BEAM has helped more than 2,400 families with rent and utility assistance so far this year compared to roughly 1,100 families in 2019. Since January, the organization has also supplied more than 1 million pounds of food to those in need at the beaches.

“We have seen more people at our brick-and-mortar pantries, we have increased the number of mobile pantries where people drive through and ... we are also continuing to do home delivery to seniors who really shouldn’t be out at the grocery stores,” said Richards. “Our volunteers, our staff and the community have really stepped up to continue to meet that need”

The Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM), a non-profit, has been and continues to serve many families who have been hit hard by COVID-19. BEAM has supplied more than one million pounds of food to at-risk populations this year. Lori Richards, the executive director of BEAM, joins us to talk about the details of how they are helping.

Looking ahead to 2021, Richards said that the organization could continue to see an increased demand for services.

“A lot of that depends on the next couple of days in Washington,” explained Richards. “I remain incredibly hopeful that there will be relief offered in terms of support for people who are facing eviction. We expect if that doesn’t happen, that the demand for our services is just going to be a tidal wave in early January.”

BEAM is recruiting volunteers. To volunteer or donate, visit jaxbeam.org.


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