Food Desert Mobile Pantries
This program delivers fresh and shelf-stable food to neighborhoods that do not have adequate grocery stores, feeding agencies or pantries within an accessible distance.
Nutrition Pack Program
For many local children, the only food they can count on is provided through the free or reduced lunch program at school. Our Snack Pack Program was designed to help bridge the gap, providing kids with easy-to-eat food items on Fridays to help get them through the weekends.
Based on local findings from national nonprofit Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America report, of the more than 283,000 people in FNEFL’s eight-county service area who turn to food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves, 28 percent of them are children under the age of 18.
FNEFL worked with the Duval County Public Schools (DCPS) to develop a new program aimed at reaching those children. DCPS initially identified 107 of its 160 schools that had children who fit the economic criteria to receive supplemental food assistance.
In cooperation with DCPS, FNEFL created the Snack Pack Program — which was launched in September 2014.
The children that receive a Snack Pack are referred to us by guidance counselors and teachers and often arrive to school on Monday in the same clothes from Friday, are various ages and grades, and have very different methods of expressing their food insecurity, but they all have one thing in common — they are always hungry.
This kid-friendly pack is five pounds, created just for our younger friends and filled with pop-top canned fruits and meals, peanut butter, healthy cereal and trail mix bars, low-sodium crackers, soups, and always, a piece of fresh fruit.
Snack Packs are delivered each Friday from October through the end of the school year.
It’s proven that hunger can affect the ability of students to focus and learn in the classroom, so this program can have a direct positive impact on a child’s capacity to concentrate and do well in school.
Senior Packs, Veteran Packs and Families with Special Needs Packs
These nutritious bundles of more than 15 meals each contain items like whole grain cereals, fresh produce, and many pantry staples. These are provided to food insecure seniors, veterans or individuals with special needs and their families to keep them from having to make difficult decisions between paying for their medicine, their housing, their utilities or their food.
Investing in our Elders
In Northeast Florida, roughly 283,140 are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where their next meal will come from. Of that number, more than 42,000 are senior citizens, according to Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America Study, largely funded by Warren Buffett. Feeding Northeast Florida is committed to ensuring that seniors struggling with hunger have access to healthy food. That’s why our very first Nutrition Pack program was designed to target this population. We provide our Senior Packs to local seniors through two key partners: Campus Towers Senior Housing’s food pantry and Daily Manna Serving Center’s weekly distributions.
Joyce Braswell, 32209
At 71 years young, Joyce is a beautiful and spry resident of Campus Towers Senior Housing on Jacksonville’s Northside. She takes part in the Jim Moran Foundation-sponsored Campus Towers resident food pantry, which she calls a true blessing.
“Eating healthy and not having to worry about if I will have enough money for good food helped me feel better every day. Not just fruit and bread and meat, they have brought us comfort and love in the form of goof food brought right here to our door. Most of us can’t drive or afford taxis or it’s hard to carry bags a long ways. This nice staff here makes us feel important.”
Linda Shaw, 32246
“Sometimes it comes down to medicine or food.”
Linda is on disability.and social security. By the time she pays her rent, utility bills and transportation costs, she has little left for anything else.
Relief came in the form of a recent Mobile Pantry in her community, where Linda was first in line to receive fresh produce, protein and pantry staples. She walked through the line with her smile beaming.
“I’m just so happy. I’m so grateful. This is a Godsend to get something to eat.”
Investing in our Children
In Northeast Florida, more than 81,000 kids struggle with hunger. For many, the only meals they can count on are provided through free or reduced school lunch programs. That is why we have established food pantries inside local schools. By placing a food pantry inside a school, struggling families have easy access to the healthy food they need. The designated space is typically open to school children, their families and the community once a week, where they can select and take home critical food items necessary to nourish young bodies.
Pilot Program: Dinsmore Elementary School Pantry
- Established in 2015
- Distributes roughly 80,000 meals annually
- Provides food to students, their families and the 32219 community on a weekly basis
- Principal cites pantry as a contributor in school going from a “D” to an “A” rating
The Dinsmore Elementary School Food Pantry model is being applied to other Northeast Florida schools. Feeding Northeast Florida plans to launch a second school pantry inside KIPP Jacksonville Schools. This pantry will offer fresh produce, protein and pantry staples to the school children, their families and the 32254 community, which is an extreme food desert with significantly limited access to healthy food.