The Feeding Northeast Florida Promise
In Northeast Florida, natural disasters, like hurricanes, happen. Feeding Northeast Florida is uniquely positioned as the largest hunger-relief network in the region, with the ability to access and deploy regional and national resources immediately. As a member of the Feeding America network, we can acquire water, food and critical items quickly, as well as receive staffing assistance from other network food banks to respond to local needs faster. Our Feeding Florida network allows us to access assistance from both FEMA and the Florida legislature.
Feeding Northeast Florida has a detailed Disaster Response Plan in place, which is constantly being fine-tuned and enhanced. With well-defined emergency response roles, the Feeding Northeast Florida staff is ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. 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, serving as an avenue for distributing food and other essential grocery items to them and to our partner hunger-relief organizations.
We stand ready to respond, long before an emergency occurs. In an effort to proactively prepare for 2019’s hurricane season, we have developed a new Disaster Response Plan for our 160 hunger-relief network partners, allowing us to better respond in the event of a disaster. Feeding Northeast Florida is also a member of the newly-formed Northeast Florida Long Term Recovery Organization (LTRO) designed to assist post-emergency.
Hurricane Irma Response
From the moment Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida September 10, 2017, our communities were changed. Six million Floridians were without power and thousands needed to be rescued from rising water by the time the storm exited the state. For those already living one crisis away from food and economic insecurity before the storm, Irma dealt a particularly devastating blow. Forced out of their homes and distanced from family, church and other traditional sources of support, many of our neighbors faced a bleak situation. They did not know it, but help was on the way.
Thanks to financial support from the community, Feeding Northeast Florida moved into action even before the rain stopped falling, positioning critical resources in the hardest hit areas, activating our dedicated network of community volunteers and collaborating in real time with key local and national partners to meet needs as they emerged.
The below video shares a snapshot of how we are working to provide food, water and supplies to children and families, senior citizens and veterans in our 8-county service area. We remain committed, long after the storm passes. That is our promise.