Jacksonville News

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo

Photo by Member Mark Krancer, Kram Kran Photo


Date ArticleType
7/16/2023 4:00:00 AM Member News

Feeding Northeast Florida Fights Childhood Hunger

Food bank plans distributions and programs to help children this summer and beyond


Jacksonville, Fla. –– July 13, 2023 –– Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL), the region’s largest nonprofit food bank, is joining the fight to end childhood hunger this summer and beyond. The organization is working to bring mobile food pantries to families and with partners United Community Outreach Ministry (UCOM) in Duval County, Feed the Need in Putnam County, and Epic Cure in St. Johns to distribute snack packs to those in need throughout the summer. More distribution sites will be added throughout the season. 


More than 220,950 individuals across the twelve counties that the food bank serves face some level of food insecurity –– more than 65,040 being children. Those numbers equate to one in eight children facing hunger.


Hunger is a year-round issue, but for children, it becomes even more evident during the summer months when school is not in session. With the rising costs of food, rent and other necessities, alongside continued inflationary pressures, families often find it difficult to provide the one to two meals a day during the summer months that children previously received at school. 


Recent Feeding America studies have shown that nutrition deficits in children can contribute to long term chronic health issues and impact a child’s ability to learn. Long-term effects can present as physical, mental and behavioral issues, and can contribute to generational poverty. FNEFL aims to break that cycle by ensuring children have the nourishment they need to grow, learn, and thrive –– regardless of the season. 


“Nutrition in childhood impacts physical and mental development and well-being throughout the lifespan and the family for generations,” said Rachel McCandless, Director of Health and Nutrition at Feeding Northeast Florida. “Child nutrition supports, like making mobile food pantries more accessible to families during the summer, are one of the best ways to improve long term quality of life for our neighbors and communities.”


Feeding Northeast Florida is focused on feeding children and individuals anytime they find themselves in need. This summer, additional food distributions have been added to help fill the gap for children and families in our communities.


“Children should never be concerned with where their next meal will come from,” said Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “We know that that is unfortunately not the case for everyone, and we are committed to help families bridge the meal gaps this summer and all year long through food distributions and other strategic partnerships. We encourage the community to join us this summer to work toward filling those gaps –– whether that’s through a financial contribution to a summer program, volunteering or hosting a food drive, every bit can make a difference in the life of a local child. We look forward to a day when no child in Northeast Florida goes hungry.”


The community is encouraged to support FNEFL’s efforts to address childhood hunger through financial contributions, volunteering or advocating for change and additional support through our civic representatives. For more information on childhood hunger, to make a donation or sign up to volunteer, visit feedingnefl.org. For every $1 donated, six meals are provided.