Annual fundraising luncheon for food insecurity awareness changes format for 2020

Empty bowls

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax is proud to announce a partnership with Feeding North East Florida Empty Bowls initiative. Feeding Northeast Florida announced its plans to change up their annual fundraiser -- it’s going digital.

Due to COVID-19, the nonprofit said Monday that the annual fundraiser aimed to increase awareness of food insecurity on the First Coast has been reformatted as a digital fundraising campaign to fill our community’s empty bowls this holiday season.

The campaign will last from Nov. 16 to Dec. 3.

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Empty Bowls has been the annual, signature fundraising event of Feeding Northeast Florida for many years, and is even more critical this year, as FNEFL is on track to provide 28 million meals to families in its eight-county service area by the end of the year: a 90 percent increase over last year, according to the nonprofit.

Going digital won’t change the objective; this year, FNEFL has partnered with CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax for the event, which will include a social media takeover, PSAs and a virtual silent auction.

“Hunger and food insecurity are year-round threats,” said Susan King, President and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “With the additional impacts of COVID-19 being felt throughout our country, the need for food assistance has only risen this year. Empty Bowls helps us educate people about the rising needs, how we’re helping and what they can do to get involved. We are so thankful for the community’s support, as well as our title sponsor, Action News Jax, as we make a difference for the neediest in our community.”

“As a local news station, we hear about the needs in our community often,” said Mike Buresh, Action News Jax Chief Meteorologist and past Empty Bowls luncheon emcee. “That’s why Action News Jax is excited to support Feeding Northeast Florida for their annual Empty Bowls event to help bring those needs to the forefront of the community’s mind. As we enter the holiday season, the need for food is even more evident – and we hope to help meet those needs through this partnership and important event.”

To learn more about food insecurity and shop the Empty Bowls virtual silent auction, click here.