The food bank is working to close the gap and feed thousands of children in need on the First Coast!
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.
Donate to the Backpack Program  The Backpack Program helps feed children who live in poverty and are already receiving reduced-fee or free meals during the school week. The program bridges the gap in providing nutritious food outside of the school week when food resources are not readily available, such as weekends and summer break. a bag of food goes home in their backpacks to provide meals for the child and other members of the family.
Sending home food enough to provide a weekend’s worth of balanced meals for the entire family, results are two-fold. For the child, it means returning to school Monday alert and ready to thrive in the classroom; at the same time, reducing hunger at home improves living conditions, reducing anxiety and bolstering morale for both child and family.
How You Can Get Help?
A bag of food per child (for them & their family) for the weekends during the 42-week school year costs only $100.
To learn more about  or  enrolling your agency or child in the BackPack program, contact Director of Agency Relations Susan Evans at
To learn more about the Backpack Program, or to sponsor a child or site, contact Taylor Strasser, advancement manager, at 904.730.8245 or e-mail
2. Become a Member Agency
Nourishment Network is dedicated to fighting hunger in north Florida. Each year, we distribute more than 22M pounds of food to hungry men, women and children in our community. We cannot do this without the help of our amazing member agencies.
If your organization is interested in becoming a Nourishment Network member agency, please let me know. I will help you contact one of our agency relations representatives regarding the application process
For more information about becoming a Nourishment Network member agency contact Cheryl Estevez, director of agency relations, at 904.517.5553, or
3 Become a volunteer
If you need Food Help.
How to locate a Food Back near you.