Over 150,000- lbs. of meat, fresh produce and canned food to be divided among 2500 qualifying families
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Summer is the toughest season for hundreds of nonprofit agencies trying to feed increased numbers of people needing help with food from Second Harvest North Florida. However, the food bank will combat the annual spike in acute hunger issues this summer with a mass food distribution event at EverBank Field on July 24.
Second Harvest will provide immediate relief by getting _over 150,000__ lbs. of frozen meat, fresh produce and canned food into the hands of approximately 2,500 area families at the event, said Bruce Ganger, executive director of Second Harvest North Florida.
“Many of the families we serve have kids who were likely benefiting from free or reduced fee school lunches or a weekend BackPack program during the year, so it’s only natural that during the summer food insecurity is on the rise,” Ganger said. “I’m just thankful that this summer we can do something significant to alleviate the acute hunger issues struggling families are facing.”
What: Mass food distribution event
Who: 2,500 qualifying* area families
When: Wednesday, July 24, 4:00-7:00 (or until food is gone)
Where: Southeast corner of EverBank Field complex (Lot E)
*To qualify each family must (1) reside in Duval County, (2) meet income eligibility requirements or meet one of the conditions listed below:
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (aka Food Stamps)
• Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Second Harvest has operated mass food distribution events before through mobile pantries or Thanksgiving dinner giveaway programs, but these events are designed to serve hundreds, not thousands, Ganger said. He hopes that by pairing food from a federal government program called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) with his agency’s logistical capabilities, Second Harvest will be able to do more in the future.
“Working with our nonprofit agency partners, the Second Harvest team understands the types of food the community needs, and when it’s needed,” Ganger said. “We chose a time late in the afternoon for this event to accommodate the working families, the predominant demographic needing our assistance.”
Second Harvest employees and volunteers will divide the food into enough packets to feed 2,500 families of four for five to six days. The food packages will contain frozen meats, produce, canned fruits, vegetables and boxed shelf products.
“This institution is an equal opportunity provider.”