Feeding Northeast Florida’s Hurricane Irma Response
Sept. 19, 2 p.m. update —
The Jacksonville Jaguars were busy giving back to the community today. Players Sheldon Day and Matt Overton spent the afternoon sorting food with us. More than 281,000 people in Northeast Florida are food insecure. This food will go a long way in helping those in need – including our neighbors impacted by Hurricane Irma. Go Jags!
Sept. 19, 9 a.m. update —
Two trucks full of food, water and critical supplies arrived bright and early at the True Vine Ministry mobile food pantry at the Bradford County Fairgrounds. Organizers tell us this community was hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Many neighborhood streets are lined with people’s belongings after intense flooding. So the mobile pantry here, which happens monthly, was expected to be much larger than usual.
With tears in her eyes, one woman waiting in line said she placed an angel inside her home Sunday before the hurricane arrived. She asked the angel to protect that home. She returned post-storm to find waist-deep water surrounding the structure – but not inside. For that, she’s grateful.
But power outages caused her to lose everything in her fridge. And she said she doesn’t have enough money to purchase more food. Today, she will get to restock her shelves. We are proud to help her. It’s our unwavering mission.
Sept. 16, 9 a.m. update —
Several mobile pantries are taking place today across multiple counties to provide food and water to those impacted by Hurricane Irma. One of them took place at North Point Town Center in Northwest Jax. Dozens of volunteers from City Year Jax, Wawa, Teach For America Jacksonville and Volunteer Jacksonville helped pass out food to the line of people. Many receiving the food say they lost everything in the hurricane and are grateful to be able to replenish their pantries.
Sept. 15, 5 p.m. update —
The Tim Tebow Foundation, Tim Tebow himself and The Arc Jacksonville teamed up in the warehouse to build SnackPacks. These bundles will be on our truck first thing Saturday morning heading to Putnam County Schools for our joint food distribution event. Many expected to attend the food giveaway have been impacted by Irma. These SnackPacks, along with other food, water and critical supplies will go a long way in helping our neighbors get back on their feet.
Sept. 15, 1 p.m. update —
We are teaming up with Edward Waters College, JAX Chamber, UNF, HabiJax, Mayo Clinic, Teach For America and other local organizations to hold a food and water distribution event in New Town Saturday morning. Members of the New Town community were impacted by the storm and these critical supplies will help them greatly. This afternoon, the group spent the afternoon loading up the food and water from our warehouse and setting up for the event.
Sept. 15, 10 a.m. update —
Feeding Northeast Florida, in partnership with The Worship Center in Northwest Jax, hosted a food distribution event this morning for the community. Before the event started, a line of hundreds stretched for blocks down Edison Ave. Many of those waiting in line tell us they were impacted greatly by Hurricane Irma. Marilyn Polite said she lost everything in her refrigerator and freezer due to lengthy power outages. She was grateful for the distribution event, where she was able to take home food to feed her family.
Sept. 15, 9 a.m. update —
The JAXSPORTS Council spent the morning with us sorting nonperishable items. These items will be distributed across our eight county service area and will greatly help those in our community impacted by the hurricane.
Sept. 15, 8 a.m. update —
Here is a brief update from our CEO Luke Layow on some of the Hurricane response efforts that have been taking place so far this week.
Sept. 14, 2 p.m. update —
The City Year Jax team is spending the afternoon with us sorting nonperishable items in the warehouse. These items will then be distributed to our partner hunger-relief organizations across eight counties for Hurricane Irma relief efforts. With the volume of food and water moving through our warehouse at a rapid pace, volunteers are incredibly vital! If you or your organization would like to assist us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 14, 1 p.m. update —
Our partner agencies like Families of Slain Children are working to help families in Duval County impacted by the storm. This organization was excited to receive hard-to-find items like diapers from Feeding Northeast Florida today to distribute. These items were part of a large donation from Prestige Health Choice.
Sept. 14, 12 p.m. update —
Many children and families, senior citizens and veterans have been impacted by Hurricane Irma in Northwest Jacksonville. Our partner agency, The Worship Center, loaded up their truck full of food, water and supplies today. These items will be distributed to the community Friday morning at 10 a.m. at their location at 2659 Edison Ave. The Worship Center says so many of those living in their community have been without power and are in great need of food and water. They were grateful to be able to pick up these critical supplies.
Sept. 14, 9:30 a.m. update —
A group from Lexington, Kentucky drove through the night and arrived at the warehouse this morning with an Penske truck full of supplies. Items being donated included water, cleaning supplies and clothing. As soon as the items were unloaded, they were scooped up by Trinity Rescue Mission and taken back to their facility to distribute to hurricane victims.
Sept. 14, 9 a.m. update —
The warehouse is bustling with activity, as four large trucks pulled into the parking lot filled with donation items. Food, water and critical supplies were swiftly unloaded and piled up in the warehouse for distribution to the community.
Sept. 14, 7 a.m. update —
Before the sun fully rose in the sky, John Solovey and his friend Kenny pulled in to Feeding Northeast Florida hauling a trailer full of supplies for those impacted by the hurricane. The load contained critical items such as paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning supplies. They drove through the night all the way from Pennsylvania to help here in Jacksonville.
“We have about a total of 12 skids that are full. We even have a skid full of dog and cat products, food and leashes and stuff like that,” John said. “In four days I had to stop taking donations because I couldn’t haul anymore.”
The need is great in Northeast Florida. With trees on homes, rushing water filling once-calm neighborhood streets, power outages and, in many cases, families who have lost everything, it’s people like John and Kenny and donations like these that will help Floridians get back on their feet.
“We see this as probably an 8-12 week to maybe even longer process of helping our partner organizations recover,” said CEO Luke Layow.
Sept. 13, 1 p.m. update —
Employees from Hoar Construction stopped by the warehouse to present us with a $4,000 check for hurricane response efforts. Six of their team members also volunteered hours of their time helping us sort food to be distributed to those in the community who need it. We are grateful!
Sept. 13, 12 p.m. update —
Gwen Graham, former U.S. Representative for Florida, spent the afternoon volunteering with us at the warehouse. She helped sort dry goods that will be dispersed to agencies assisting those impacted by the hurricane. From the warehouse, she headed to City Rescue Mission, one of our partner agencies, where she helped serve hot meals to the community.
Sept. 12, 2 p.m. update —
One of today’s distributions was to River City Community Church. We brought them water and food to pass out to those impacted by Hurricane Irma. Senior Pastor Gabe Treveno said he is grateful for his church’s partnership with Feeding Northeast Florida. He knew many people in his community desperately needed these resources.
Sept. 12, 12 p.m. update —
A truckload of food, water and supplies was dropped off at the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center. From there, the supplies will be distributed to hurricane evacuees at county shelters.
Sept. 12, 8 a.m. update —
Feeding Northeast Florida’s post-hurricane response efforts are underway. Efforts began early this morning to load trucks full of food and water and distribute them across our eight-county service area. We will be sending a truck full of water to the St. Johns County Emergency Operations Center shortly to be distributed to their shelters.
We are in it for the long haul and will be busy these next several weeks as communities and neighbors get things cleaned up. Many in our community are asking how they can help. We have the food and water – but we need funding to be able to help move these supplies across our eight counties to address the need. If you are interested in helping in this mission can visit jaxfoodbank.org.
Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m. update —
We have been busy today providing food and resources to hunger-relief partners and emergency responders ahead of the storm. This afternoon, we loaded this truck with food for Bradford County Emergency Management, which is operating two shelters in Starke. They’re expecting upwards of 600 people and were grateful to receive these supplies to help evacuees weather the storm.
Sept. 8, 2 p.m. update —
Many of our partner hunger-relief agencies are stopping by our warehouse today and picking up water. We are all working together to stay Hurricane Irma ready.
To find out more about how we are prepping and our response post-storm, CLICK HERE.
To donate to Feeding Northeast Florida to assist with relief efforts, CLICK HERE.
Sept. 7, 3 p.m. update —
Feeding Northeast Florida, the local Feeding America food bank, is prepared for the effects of Hurricane Irma. The food bank’s efforts entail pre-disaster readiness and post-disaster response.
The food bank’s role during a hurricane or other natural disaster is not to act as a first responder, but to work cooperatively with other disaster relief organizations, such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the United Way, and serve as an avenue for distributing food and other essential grocery items to them and to our partner hunger-relief organizations.
“Our team is keeping a very close eye on Hurricane Irma’s developments and stand ready to deploy help and resources in any ways we can before and after the storm passes,” said Feeding Northeast Florida CEO Luke Layow. “Our Disaster Response Plan is in place, our warehouse is staged and ready and our team is prepared to assist our community, our state and beyond. Feeding Northeast Florida is in it for the long haul after the storm.”
The Feeding Northeast Florida leadership team is participating in daily conference calls with Feeding Florida, the state affiliate of 14 regional food banks. Feeding Northeast Florida is also maintaining a line of communication with the City of Jacksonville Emergency Preparedness Division, along with local, state and federal elected officials.
Prior to the storm’s arrival, Feeding Northeast Florida hunger-relief partners are visiting the Food Bank’s warehouse on the Westside to stock up on food and other essential items. Once the hurricane passes, Feeding Northeast Florida will assess the needs of its eight-county service area: Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. Feeding Florida and Feeding America will also assess the needs of other sister food banks. Feeding Northeast Florida stands ready to respond, working with the Feeding Florida and the Feeding America network and with other disaster relief organizations, to make donated food and other essential grocery items available to those in greatest need.
Those interested in making a donation to Feeding Northeast Florida to assist with disaster efforts may CLICK HERE.
Sept. 7, 9 a.m. update —
As Hurricane Irma continues inching closer to Florida, we stand ready to assist in any way we can. Our Disaster Response Plan is activated, our team is prepping, and we received 45 additional pallets of water that are now staged and ready – along with food.