Jacksonville, Fla. (June 2, 2014) – Feeding Northeast Florida, which has been providing food bank distribution services since March, has now secured a new 21,000-square-foot food storage and distribution warehouse at 1116 N. Edgewood Ave. in Jacksonville.
According to Feeding Northeast Florida President and CEO Bruce Ganger, the new nonprofit organization has already distributed more than 1.5 million pounds of food over the last 10 weeks to food pantries operated by nonprofit agencies – without a warehouse or trucks.
“With the assistance of Feeding America, which has provided some cash, a credit line and in-kind support to help in our start-up, and a strong partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, we will begin operations from our new distribution facility today – with our own trucks beginning pick-ups at 5:30 a.m.”
Ganger said Feeding Northeast Florida has been able to connect area food pantries with area retail grocer partners, including Winn Dixie, Publix and Walmart, and coordinate the transport of the food in the interim until the new agency could get fully operational with its own trucks and warehouse.
“Only 17 days after we began to organize, we had delivered our first load of food in the community – moving more than 30,000 pounds of produce and high-quality food to The Journey Church, City Rescue Mission, Trinity Rescue Mission, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry (BEAM), Salvation Army, and The Sulzbacher Center for use in their feeding and food distribution programs.”
Feeding Northeast Florida, which is taking over the role previously handled by the Second Harvest North Florida, is responsible for collecting food donations, inspecting them in the warehouse to ensure they are safe and distributing them to more than 90 nonprofit, religious and civic organizations that provide food assistance to those in need. It is estimated that in the 17-county area that comprises northeast Florida, 348,000 people are food-insecure — which translates into one-out-of-six citizens and one-out-of four children, or 16.6 percent of the population.
“Our numbers in northeast Florida are higher than the national average of 15.1 percent, and that has held constant over the past five years,” Ganger said. “Forty percent are working families, which means there is income in the home, but it doesn’t stretch from paycheck to paycheck.”
Ganger says Feeding Northeast Florida is initially purchasing four trucks to begin picking up donated food from retail grocery stores, food manufacturers and farms. Currently, he says the new agency’s biggest needs are for cash donations and volunteers.
To learn more about how to join the fight to solve hunger in northeast Florida, visit www.feedingnefl.org or contact 904-655-9684.
About Feeding Northeast Florida
Feeding Northeast Florida, founded in March 2014, provides food distribution service to more than 90 nonprofit, religious and charitable organizations and is part of Feeding America’s nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that lead the fight against hunger in the United States. Feeding Northeast Florida also supports programs that improve food security among the people it serves, educates the public about the problem of hunger, and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger.
For more information, visit www.feedingnefl.org or contact 904-513-1333.