Vice President Harris, Feeding Northeast Florida meet to discuss food security

For Clay Today
Posted 3/24/21

JACKSONVILLE – Feeding Northeast Florida hosted U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at its headquarters Monday, March 22, for a roundtable discussion about food security.

The discussion was held …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Vice President Harris, Feeding Northeast Florida meet to discuss food security

Posted

JACKSONVILLE – Feeding Northeast Florida hosted U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at its headquarters Monday, March 22, for a roundtable discussion about food security.

The discussion was held during Harris’s visit to Jacksonville as part of the Help is Here tour, and focused on the theme of helping to put food on the table. Participants included Susan King, President and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida; U.S. Representative Al Lawson; Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried; Jacksonville City Councilwoman Joyce Morgan; Duval County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Diana L. Greene; and, Jacksonville City Councilman Garrett Dennis.

Feeding Northeast Florida is the region’s largest nonprofit food bank network that works to address food insecurity, poverty and poor health by providing nutritious foods and essential goods in collaboration with community partners. The organization serves eight Northeast Florida counties, including Clay.

The group talked about how food insecurity has impacted Northeast Florida during the pandemic, ways that the American Rescue Plan is helping to address the hunger crisis and strategies to ensure everyone can access fresh, healthy food.

“FNEFL is thankful for the support and leadership of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to ensure the American Rescue Plan of 2021 included critical nutrition investments to help people facing hunger,” King said. “Our food bank has seen a 129% increase in people needing emergency food assistance since the start of the pandemic, and our struggle is reflected in every food bank nationwide. Nationally, the Feeding America network reports a 55% average increase in the need for emergency food assistance. We are honored to be given the opportunity to discuss food insecurity and the impact of COVID-19 on our community with Vice President Harris.”

FNEFL estimates that 326,000 individuals experience food insecurity on some level every day across its service area. In 2020, the food bank served 2.8 million people and distributed 30.8 million pounds of food – an 82% increase since 2019, equaling 84,500 meals a day. The organization expanded its operating partner agency network from 200 to 300, and increased its logistical capabilities to manage the volume.

“The Feeding Florida food bank network is at the forefront of innovative distribution methods created in response to COVID-19. We appreciated the opportunity to share this work with the Vice President during her visit, and discuss how we’ve been able to provide consistent and reliable food support every day,” said Robin Safley, Feeding Florida Executive Director. “Our food banks will need the continued support from the administration to meet this increased demand.”

The ARP includes provisions that will help the food bank maximize the reach and impact of its resources by connecting food insecure households with vital support. Highlights of the plan include:

• Expanding access to the Pandemic EBT program through the duration of the pandemic, making it easier for families with kids receiving school meals to purchase healthy food, especially over the summer.

• Extending the 15% SNAP increase through September 2021, which equates to $28 per month a person.

• Investing $880 million in the WIC program to support innovative delivery models and raise the amount of fruits and vegetables participants can obtain.

• Investing $37 million to get seniors the nutrition they need.

FNEFL continues to see unprecedented need across the region. For additional information about how the organization is helping to put food on the table for local families, as well as donation or volunteer opportunities, visit feedingnefl.org. For every $1 donated, six meals are provided to those in need in the community.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment