North Florida Hunger Facts

The Basics

  • For every $1 donated to the food bank, we can distribute food for seven meals.
  • The food bank provides important resources to more than 450 member agencies in a 17-county area in north Florida. Agencies include ministries, church pantries, medical clinics, senior citizen centers, after-school programs, summer programs, shelters and feeding sites.
  • Geographically, the area served by the food bank represents more than 10,000 square miles, including nearly 3,000 square miles served by the food bank facility on Jessie Street.
  • The LSS Food Bank has largest geographic area of any Florida food bank (counties and miles).
  • The food bank provides services in outlying counties through facilities/partnerships in St. Augustine, Gainesville and Lake City.
  • The food bank maintains a fleet of 13 vehicles that provide pickup and delivery services for perishable and nonperishable food items. In fiscal year 2013, maintenance and fuel costs are projected to be $240,000 – a steep increase from 2012.

Overview of the hunger issue in north Florida

  • In 2014, the food bank is projected to distribute in excess of 24 million pounds of food into its service area – the equivalent of more than 20 million meals. In 2011, Nourishment Network distributed more than 20 million pounds, 19 million in 2010, 10.3 million in 2009 and 7.6 million in 2008. All told, the increase is more than 180 percent in five years.
  • The numbers above are indicative of demand. They continue to escalate, and we have projected that 40 million pounds will be required by 2015 to adequately meet the need.
  • Recent studies have given us a grim picture of hunger, nationally and in north Florida:

NORTH FLORIDA HUNGER DATA: From Hunger in America, 2010

  • 1 in 6 adults experience food insecurity each day in America
  • Nationally, 1 in 4 children don’t know where their next meal will come from
  • On any given day, 342,000 men, women and children in our 17-county service area count on our food bank for food. That is one-sixth of the 2.1M people who live in these 17 counties. 

FLORIDA HUNGER DATA: From Child Food Insecurity in the United States, 2006-08

  • More than 342,000 individuals in our service area are deemed to be “food insecure” – which means they might not be hungry, but they also don’t know when they will eat again. Of that total, more than 117,000 are children.
  • The fastest-growing population in this food-insecure group is the working poor – households that have working members but can’t make ends meet, often times forced to substitute other bills and expenses for money that would have been used to buy food.
  • In the 17-county area served by the food bank, 136,269 people are in this class of working poor with no access to federal or state benefits and often limited means to buy food (SNAP, WIC, Free lunch at school). Of this number, more than 40 percent of these households have one or more adults in the home who work.