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Florida Panthers team with Homeless Voice to feed the unhoused

Miami Proud: Florida Panthers teams with Homeless Voice to feed the unsheltered
Miami Proud: Florida Panthers teams with Homeless Voice to feed the unsheltered 03:01

SUNRISE - The amount of wasted food in Florida is astonishing.

According to ReFED, a national nonprofit dedicated to ending food loss and waste, restaurants and consumers wasted more than 5.77 million tons of food in 2022. Think about how many mouths that would feed.

The Florida Panthers and Homeless Voice have thought about it. They've teamed up to make 'Mami Proud'.

After each Panthers' game or event at Amerant Bank Arena, the Homeless Voice receives a call to come pick up the leftovers.

The Homeless Voice is a non-profit that collects food and helps feed those experiencing homelessness in Broward County. Founder Sean Cononie and one of his volunteers, Robert Wickham, drive an ambulance to pick up the food. In a sense, they're rescuing the food from being thrown away and the homeless from going hunger.

"There's a true need for it," said Wickham. "There's a lot of hungry people."

Wickham said it's not just people who are unhoused that are struggling. He's witnessed people with jobs having a hard time putting food on the table.

It was Cononie who approached the hockey franchise with an idea, to collect their unprepared food that would otherwise be thrown out.

"Picking up food that the Panthers generously donate to us every time they have an event, they call us the day after and we pick it up and give the food to our distribution points and it goes out to the people on the streets and to our shelters," said Cononie.

While some food donations are larger than others, they add up quickly.

"Since 2023, we've had over 12,000 pounds of food, and food that at a lot of places would go to waste, but here the Panthers and Amerant Bank Arena we're making sure that food is taken care of and that it goes out and helps out. It's food that's prepared more than 10,000 meals over the last year," said John Colombo, vice president of the Florida Panthers Foundation.

In addition to providing food, the Homeless Voice also educates, shelters, and provides outreach programs.

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