With more than 342,000 individuals throughout northeast Florida experiencing food insecurity and beaches residents facing a particularly pressing need, Second Harvest North Florida and Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry partnered to bring a Mobile Pantry to the Mayport area to assist an estimated 237 families.
Eight thousand 400 pounds of food, the equivalent of 7,000 meals, were delivered to waiting families at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church on Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Second Harvest said its big blue trucks delivered approximately 4.3 million pounds of food directly into low-income neighborhoods through more than 500 Mobile Pantry events in 2012.
Those Mobile Pantry distributions are typically funded by corporations, religious or civic groups for $1,200 per delivery.
However, Second Harvest said this week's Mobile Pantry was an unsponsored collaborative effort between Second Harvest North Florida and BEAM to address the acute need in the beaches area.
"Food insecure people often don't know where or when they may get their next meal. Our Mobile Pantry typically feeds homebound seniors, expectant mothers and working families who work hard and earn income, but simply can’t find a way to make ends meet," said Bruce Ganger, Executive Director of Second Harvest North Florida. "This is one of many ways we are working to help solve hunger in our community."