JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Nourishment Network and new partner, Farm Share, are working together to provide 4.5 million pounds of free food to more than 18,000 food-insecure families.

The giveaway will take place at food distribution events held from July through September, according to a news release sent to News4Jax.

One of the first distributions took place Saturday on the Westside at the Household of Faith Church on West Edgewood Avenue.

NFL wide receiver Laveranues Coles, a Jacksonville native who played at Ribault High School before launching his NFL career, helped with the distribution. Coles played for the New York Jets, the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Nourishment Network is working with Farm Share to bring food to 17 counties in northern Florida.