Feeding America Member food bank to add service to four additional counties, extending reach to 12 counties across North Florida
Jacksonville, Fla. –– June 26, 2023 –– Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) today announced a merger with Bread of the Mighty, the Gainesville-based food bank that has served five counties in North Central Florida for more than 35 years. The transaction was completed on May 1, 2023.
The merger is part of a nine-county realignment project spearheaded by Feeding America. The evaluation process began in early 2022, with a goal to strategically realign resources and support services across North and Central Florida, enhancing the work that Bread of the Mighty has done for more than three decades. FNEFL will combine the power of its 325+ agency partners with Bread of the Mighty’s 170+ partners. Additionally, this merger leverages the strength of the Feeding America network, operations and funding, bringing even more assets to those who need it throughout this extended service area.
The merging of these counties into FNEFL’s operation will optimize the existing storage and transportation assets, enhance service to the residents of Gainesville and the surrounding areas who are facing food insecurity, and streamline logistics, distributions and partnerships with pantries and other organizations currently served by Bread of the Mighty. The Gainesville food bank will remain a strong community resource and will be better positioned to sustain and exceed the services it has provided in the past as a result of this new relationship.
“Since Feeding Northeast Florida’s formation in 2014, our mission has been to alleviate hunger and build stronger, more resilient communities,” said Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “With this merger, together, we will reach more individuals and families in need, strengthen our distribution network and advocate for lasting solutions to address the root causes of hunger.”
As part of the realignment, FNEFL has assumed operational oversight for three of the counties formerly served by Bread of the Mighty, including Alachua, Gilchrist and Levy Counties. In addition, FNEFL will assume responsibility for Union County, which was previously supported by Florida Gateway Food Bank. This merger expands FNEFL’s service area to a total of 12 counties across North Florida. Other counties previously served by Bread of the Mighty are now managed by Second Harvest of the Big Bend. Operations in Gainesville will continue as an independent food bank under the Bread of the Mighty namesake, now as a branch of Feeding Northeast Florida.
More than 265,000 individuals across these 12 counties suffer from some level of food insecurity, equating to one in nine adults and one in seven children. With the increased opportunities now available to Bread of the Mighty as a branch location of a Feeding America Network Partner, the important work that has been done in the past will be amplified to create a stronger, more effective organization that can make a greater difference in the fight against hunger.
Feeding Northeast Florida and Bread of the Mighty remain resolute that hunger is a solvable problem with resources that already exist. The food banks serve individuals and families who find themselves in need with dignity, access to quality food and resources, education and benefit services, and advocacy for food and hunger relief. The need for food resources rose exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic and remains elevated due to inflationary pressures, historic rent increases, and the increased cost of goods and services. Feeding Northeast Florida and its branch in Gainesville help to relieve the financial burden of providing food, allowing individuals and families to focus on other necessities.
For more information, including how to become an agency partner, volunteer opportunities or where to find food, visit breadofthemighty.org. Additional details about Feeding Northeast Florida can be found at feedingnefl.org.
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 and around Northeast and Central 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 all people living in our 12-county service area (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Levy, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns and Union) 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.