Local HIV Groups Confront Hunger

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This article discusses the meetings of two recent, local HIV planning bodies. On Aug. 24, The HIV Planning Council (HIV PC) met. On Sep. 8, the South Florida AIDS Network (SFAN) met.

The HIV PC functions as the planning body for Ryan White Care Part A (RWC A). RWC A provides funds for medical treatment and support services.

SFAN functions as the planning body for Ryan White Care Part B (RWC B). RWC B provides funds for health insurance premiums, the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and non-medical HIV services.


Higher food prices means that more RWC clients will need more food aid. This year’s RWC funding for food aid, however, has not increased. That mismatch threatens the stability of RWC food aid. At this rate of spending, RWC food aid will run out of funds before this fiscal year ends in early 2024. In that event, no RWC client could receive any food aid. To avoid that collapse, the HIV PC faced two choices. They could have reduced the number of clients eligible for food aid. Alternatively, they could have reduced the amount of food aid per client.

Last Thursday, it was announced that the changes in food distribution would take effect on Oct. 1, 2023.

At this meeting, the HIV PC chose a hybrid approach, reducing benefits per client. They reduced it based on the client’s Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

The FPL is based on annual income per household and household size. For example, one hundred percent of the FPL for a household of one is $13,590. Three hundred percent of the FPL for a household of one is $40,770. To determine FPL per household size please visit bit.ly/3RumsCT.

Clients with household incomes ranging from 0% to 200% of FPL will receive two units of food per month. Clients with household incomes ranging from 201% to 300% of FPL would get one unit of food per month. At present, the effective date has yet to be determined.


Many RWC clients have their health insurance through the ACA Marketplace. They will soon have to select their health insurance plans for 2024. In the past, the Broward Regional Health Planning Council (BRHPC) has counseled people about plan selection. Michelle Rosiere of BRHPC reported that she does not expect changes to go in a negative way.

Open enrollment will last from November 1, 2023, to January 15, 2024. 

September is Hunger Action Month. Jolene Mullins of the "South Florida Hunger Coalition" spoke about local food distribution programs. She distinguished between food banks and food pantries. A food bank distributes large amounts of food to agencies. Those agencies function as food pantries. They provide food directly to people in need. “Feeding South Florida” and “Second Harvest of South Florida” serve as the main, local foodbanks.Mullins said that most local food pantries depend on volunteers. Few food pantries can provide daily services. Many food pantries lack delivery vehicles. That lack makes it difficult to serve people with mobility issues. Occasionally, someone will volunteer to deliver food. Local food pantries tend to require identification, but not formal registration.

According to the Florida Dept. of Health, “food insecurity” refers to “The percentage of the population that do not have consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”

Food security is one of the “social determinants” of health. That term describes social issues that have a major impact on a person's health. Awareness of social determinants has caused people to use terms like "food is medicine."

Hope South Florida (954-566-2311) provides meals Monday through Saturday. It also has a mobile shower unit.

The Ujima Conference will occur from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15. For more information or to register, visit https://www.ujimamen.net/.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


Corrections: editorial@outsfl.com

2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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