01 Sep Feeding Northeast Florida Announces Hunger Action Month Efforts
Feeding Northeast Florida Announces Hunger Action Month Efforts
Food bank encourages community to join national hunger awareness campaign in September
Jacksonville, Fla. –– Sept. 1, 2021 –– Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) today announced its plans to support Hunger Action Month this September, an annual observance in which people and organizations all over the country stand together against hunger. Since 2008, Feeding America and its network have brought awareness to hunger and food insecurity across the nation with this campaign. Feeding Northeast Florida will lead the effort to highlight hunger here on the First Coast.
Nearly 240,000 people living in Northeast Florida are food insecure, including approximately 76,000 children. That equates to one in five people in the food bank’s eight-county service area. In 2020, the need for food assistance increased –– and an estimated 40% of those served early in the pandemic had never sought help before. With the residual challenges from COVID-19 still looming, elevated levels of outreach and food distribution will need to be sustained to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community.
This year, the Hunger Action Month campaign centers around one key message: food shouldn’t be an impossible choice. FNEFL’s staff and volunteers know that for too many families and individuals, a daily meal is not a simple choice of what to eat, but often an impossible choice between food and other crucial needs, such as electricity, childcare or medicine. FNEFL is working diligently to make that choice easier; the organization invites the public to join them this September by sharing their stories, volunteering, advocating and fundraising.
FNEFL is bringing awareness to hunger through several targeted initiatives in honor of Hunger Action Month, including designated food distributions, partnerships with The Jaguars Foundation, and lighting Jacksonville up orange, the color of hunger. Area partners, including , Florida Blue, Daily’s Place, JTA and Downtown Vision, Inc., will display orange lights during the month to raise awareness and stand in solidarity with FNEFL. Additionally, Mayor Lenny Curry has proclaimed September 2021 as Hunger Action Month in Jacksonville.
“Hunger is a year-round issue –– one we take very seriously. Hunger Action Month gives us a platform to share what we do every day and celebrate the impact that has been made, all while showing how much work is still needed,” said Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “Solving hunger is possible, but we can’t do it alone. We are so thankful for our 300+ partner agencies, our corporate and philanthropic partners and our community for supporting us during this important month. Through initiatives like this, we can help educate people on what food insecurity really looks like, who it affects and how they can help.”
In advance of Hunger Action Month, Feeding Northeast Florida participated in a community round table event in partnership with the White House Covid-19 Response team. Community leaders, including (school board members, healthcare professionals and state representatives gathered to discuss food insecurity and the effects of the pandemic in the Jacksonville area. According to Feeding America and FNEFL, hundreds of thousands of people living on the First Coast continue to face hunger in 2021 despite the unprecedented response by the Feeding Northeast Florida hunger-relief network and partners to the unprecedented public health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. The recovery will be much slower for the most vulnerable populations who continue to experience disproportionate rates of food insecurity (people who lost jobs/wages, people of color, children, women with children, etc.).
Feeding Northeast Florida encourages the public to take action by wearing orange on Hunger Action Day (September 17) and by volunteering, pledging to advocate, fundraising or donating this month. More information can be found at feedingnefl.org/hungeractionmonth.
For more information about Hunger Action Month and Feeding Northeast Florida’s efforts, to make a donation to the food bank or sign up to volunteer, visit feedingnefl.org. Every $1 donated helps provide 6 meals.
About Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL)
Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) is the region’s largest nonprofit (501c3) food bank and hunger relief network. FNEFL provides nutritious foods and other essential goods to those in need, and strives to improve the quality of life for people living in Northeast Florida by addressing food insecurity, poverty and poor health. Alongside our network of food distribution, agency and community partners, the Food Bank provides food resources and hope to help the more than 1 in 7 people living in our eight-county service area (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns) who struggle to feed themselves and their families. Feeding Northeast Florida works daily to find solutions to address the issues of food insecurity and poverty through awareness, advocacy, education, and action in ways that promote dignity, respect and empowerment. For more information, visit feedingnefl.org.