Where we are headed
Our first year was focused on getting logistics and operations in place so we can support the community at large. Thanks to great community support, together we accomplished a lot. In the coming year we will be focusing on reaching specific populations with solutions tailored to their unique needs.
Ultimately, we need to create solutions closer to the source of the issue through our efforts and collaborations with partners who serve in a particular population.
Senior Hunger – every day 59% of seniors make a decision whether to buy food or medicine. Some are homebound and can’t get out. Some are not capable of cooking for themselves, so need prepared meals. Some don’t have access to transportation to get to a reliable food source. There is an urgent need for a community-wide strategy to address how to identify and how to support this increasing population of food insecure seniors. FNEFL is helping to convene these conversations and will be a part of the solutions that come as a result.
Children – one out of every four children across our service area are food insecure and don’t know on any given day if/how/when they will eat their next meal. They are in the city, suburbs and rural areas. Many are homeless or transient. No community is immune from this fact and situation. FNEFL will expand our partnerships with county school districts, children-serving organizations, faith communities, and municipalities in order to ensure that our kids have access to healthy, nutritious food.
Active and Separated Military – we are very excited about a partnership with Rear Admiral Mary Jackson’s (Commander, Navy Region Southeast) Fleet and Family Readiness Program to address issues of food insecurity among actively and recently separated military personnel and families. Of those families served by FNEFL, 20% reported a family member is or was active in the military. During times of deployment, the issues increase for these households and many who separate from service struggle with re-entry into civilian life.
Working Families – over 40% of those who are served by FNEFL and our distribution network are working families. There is income in the home but not enough to stretch from paycheck to paycheck. Food becomes the ‘push’ in the weekly budget. We tailor the timing of our food distributions to make food available to working adults.