The Food Desert Impact on Northeast Florida
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food deserts as locations without easy access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods. Food consumed in food deserts is often high in cholesterol, sugar and fat.
Areas considered to be food deserts are prominent in Jacksonville, as indicated in green on the USDA Food Access Research Atlas. The majority of Jacksonville’s food deserts lie within the I-295 beltway. Strategically, that is where the Feeding Northeast Florida distribution center is located as well.
The need across Florida is vast. According to Feeding Florida, 3.3 million Floridians are food insecure, including 1.1 million children. Food insecurity rates in Duval County are among the highest in the state.
In Duval County, there are 177,000 food insecure individuals – these are children and families, senior citizens and veterans who don’t know where their next meal will come from. Many of these individuals also live in food deserts where it is difficult to access grocery stores. These families are forced to spend their limited food budgets on cheap, canned or processed foods because fresh foods are not available. A recent study on the effects of food deserts found that communities who lack access to fresh, healthy foods will likely exhibit increased premature death and chronic health conditions.
Feeding Northeast Florida is working to ensure that those who are struggling with hunger have access to high-quality food. Roughly 60 percent of the food we distribute is produce.
Through our network of partner agencies, we distributed 12.3 million meals across eight counties in 2016. Feeding Northeast Florida also targets identified areas and deploys mobile food pantries to distribute food where it is needed most. In Duval County, 3.5 million meals were provided to families who live in food deserts last year.
New Town, located on Jacksonville’s Northside, is one of Duval County’s food deserts. New Town is a predominantly residential community with Edward Waters College located in its northern portion. In 2008, the New Town Success Zone was created to insulate families and support their children’s intellectual, emotional and physical growth from the “cradle to college.” With health being a primary focus of this initiative, Feeding Northeast Florida understood the importance of providing residents with access to healthy meals. In January, through a partnership with Mayo Clinic, the New Town mobile pantry was established, which brings food to the community on the fourth Saturday of every month.
Feeding Northeast Florida also has a regularly scheduled mobile pantry serving the Mayport community, which is a larger-scale food desert located outside of the I-295 loop.
The following represents all hunger-relief partner agencies located within Jacksonville’s food deserts that receive food from Feeding Northeast Florida, along with statistics for 2016. In total, Feeding Northeast Florida provided 4.2 million pounds of food to agencies in food deserts.
|PARTNER AGENCY||TOTAL POUNDS||TOTAL MEALS||ADDRESS||ZIP|
|Alco Halfway House, Inc.||20,588||17,157||1120 Hubbard Street||32206|
|Bridge of NE Florida (The), Inc.||5,319||4,433||1824 N. Pearl Street||32206|
|Christian Fellowship Ministries on Evergreen||117,851||98,209||3302 Evergreen Avenue||32206|
|Community Rehab Center||46,823||39,019||623 Beechwood Street||32206|
|Greater Payne AME||16,290||13,575||1230 Claudia Spencer Street||32206|
|Holy Rosary Catholic School||1,583||1,319||4920 Brentwood Boulevard||32206|
|Household of Faith||106,724||88,937||1410 West Edgewood Avenue||32206|
|Operation New Hope||1,159||966||1830 N. Main Street||32206|
|St. Marys Episcopal Outreach||9,405||7,838||1924 N Laura St||32206|
|St. Matthews Lodge #436||34,880||29,067||2802 N. Pearl Street||32206|
|All People International Church||327,825||273,188||1995 Edgewood Avenue West||32208|
|Families of Slain Children FOSCI||54,291||45,243||3108 N. Myrtle Avenue||32208|
|Higher Ground Deliverance||3,406||2,838||2514 Van Gundy Road||32208|
|New Hope Assembly||32,117||26,764||5518 N. Pearl Street||32208|
|North Jacksonville Church of God||2,054||1,712||7600 Kenya Street||32208|
|Campus Towers||23,962||19,968||1850 Kings Road||32209|
|Operation Saving Our Children||2,295||1,913||2114 Kings Park Dr||32209|
|Caleb Park Mission||11,656||9,713||1720 Hamiliton Street||32210|
|St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church||32,756||27,297||4758 Shelby Avenue||32210|
|Sweetwater Church of Christ||50,677||42,231||7185 Esther St||32210|
|Vine Keepers Ministries||38,790||32,325||4200 Georgetown Drive||32210|
|WJO-Community Health Outreach||206,581||172,151||5126 Timuquana Rd, Bldg 4||32210|
|Bethany Ministries||17,464||14,553||8800 Arlington Expressway||32211|
|Central Church of Nazarene||56,096||46,747||2130 University Blvd. North||32211|
|First Coast International SDA||464,427||387,023||49 North Bowlan Street||32211|
|Five Star Veterans Center, Inc.||30,735||25,613||40 Acme Street||32211|
|L’arche- Greatfull House||7,501||6,251||700 Arlington Rd||32211|
|L’arche- Nouwen House||5,743||4,786||700 Arlington Rd||32211|
|L’arche- Peace House||2,842||2,368||700 Arlington Rd||32211|
|L’arche- Sunflower House||7,969||6,641||700 Arlington Rd||32211|
|Light in the World Jax||149,874||124,895||Oakwood Villa Apartments||32211|
|Christ The King||4,502||3,752||742 Arlington Road||32216|
|Peace Presbyterian||42,579||35,483||2300 Southside Blvd||32216|
|Center for Language and Culture (The) – DCPS||10,547||8,789||7401 Kings Road South||32217|
|Jewish Family and Community Services||560||467||6261 Dupont Station Ct. E||32217|
|Abyssinia Missionary Baptist||3,447||2,873||10325 Interstate Center Drive||32218|
|Aspire 2 Achieve||682||568||215 Bethel Baptist st||32218|
|Calvary Baptist of Jacksonville||17,927||14,939||4040 Dunn Avenue||32218|
|Northside Christian Service Center||137,122||114,268||10435 Biscayne Blvd||32218|
|Most Holy Redeemer- SVdPDM||141,716||118,097||8523 Normandy Blvd||32221|
|New Mt. Zion Church Inc.||206,877||172,398||5410 Nathan Hale Road||32221|
|Westside Christian Church||29,045||24,204||10123 Normandy Blvd||32221|
|Dream Center||105,394||87,828||6561 Firestone Road||32244|
|Hillcrest Baptist Church||13,786||11,488||7673 Collins Road||32244|
|Inman Memorial United Methodist Church||53,490||44,575||5334 Old Kings Road||32254|
|Jax Bridge (The)- Bridges of America||3,914||3,262||601 Agmac Avenue||32254|
|Palm Avenue Exceptional Center||16,464||13,720||1301 West Palm Avenue||32254|
|Paxon Revival Center||15,733||13,111||5461 Commonwealth Avenue||32254|
|Worship Center (The)||1,482,469||1,235,391||2669 Edison Avenue||32254|
|Morning Glory Christian Fellowship||7,644||6,370||3405 Atlantic Blvd||32277|
|St. Matthews Lutheran Church Mens Fellowship Group||13,206||11,005||6801 Merrill Road||32277|