President Clinton in Jacksonville to see programs working to fight opioid crisis, food insecurity

by: Amber Krycka, Action News Jax Updated:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 42nd President of the United States toured Northeast Florida Tuesday, highlighting the Clinton Foundation’s partnership and programs related to the opioid crisis and food insecurity.

Former President Bill Clinton took a tour of Orange Park Medical Center, learning about programs, and meeting with partners who work with his foundation to address the opioid epidemic. 

“Don’t be scared to admit it. Nobody is going to try and put you in jail. We are going to try and make you well,” Clinton said. 

“When I was pregnant with him, I was smoking a lot of cigarettes, I was smoking a lot of marijuana,” said Ronnika Thomas, who shared with President Clinton her story of how the Azalea Project, a project that helps at-risk families facing addiction, saved her life.

“Because of them, my baby came out healthy, drug free,” Thomas said.

Clinton also visited the University of North Florida to talk food with students. Duval County has one of the highest rates of food insecurity.

“Even we in America aren’t going to be able to afford to waste food,” Clinton said.

He watched as students repacked unused food from the University’s cafeteria into individual meals, which will be sent to a local HIV network. 

“Never forget that you were here on this day, watching this when you see this become a global trend,” he said.

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