JACKSONVILLE, FLa. —
A local non-profit introduced a new tool Thursday to help better serve families in Jacksonville’s food deserts.
Those living in the underserved areas around the city aren’t used to store shelves stocked with fresh produce.
Daniel Hagans told Action News Jax he sees the need among his church congregation on the Northside.
He explained, “People are struggling because of the coronavirus.”
Susan King with Feeding Northeast Florida said their work providing food for local families has skyrocketed during the pandemic to 28 million meals.
The number is double what they served in 2019.
King described, “At least 30% of the people that they’re seeing now are accessing charity food for the first time in their lives. More than 25% of the people they see, say, it’s COVID related.”
New mobile food markets and partnerships with the Jaguars, Publix and Pepsi Co. are allowing the non-profit to help 1,200 local families.
The resources call the organization to accommodate additional calls which are widespread across all Jacksonville neighborhoods.
King said the mobile markets bring new skills for families, along with the food.
“Each one of these units is also equipped with a mobile, portable kitchen that can be wheeled down a ramp and we can do food samplings, and teach people while they’re waiting,” she explained.
Hagans said it’s a dignified way for hungry families to get the necessary free food.
“This feeding Northeast Florida sharing is a great opportunity,” he said.
© 2020 Cox Media Group