JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With students out of school, summer can be the worst time of the year for families fighting hunger in the community. That's why one local food bank decided to step in, giving away food to families who need it.
The crowds filled Everbank Field Wednesday night. Not for football, but for food. The North East Florida Second Harvest Food Bank handed out more than 150,000 pounds of frozen meat, fresh produce and canned food. And it went straight into the hands of approximately 2,500 area families in need. It's food that Nicole Schlesinger told Channel 4 will go a long way to help her and her father take care of her son Matthew.
"It's just given us peace of mind knowing that he will have food to eat this month, because I live in Tampa, so and I can't always help. Knowing you guys are out here helping the community, we really appreciate it," said Schlesinger.
Second Harvest began planning for this day weeks ago, working with volunteers and donors to produce one of the biggest events the organization has ever done. Second Harvest Executive Director Bruce Ganger told Channel 4 that they are happy to lift the burden of hunger for working people in our community, people struggling to make ends meet, even if it's just for a week.
"They can pay their rent, they can put gas in their car, they can get to work, but food becomes a push in their weekly budget," said Ganger. "In the summertime when kids are home from school, it just makes it worse. These are families that are really struggling."
Second Harvest said that one out of six people in the community don't know where their next meal will come from.
"It's like the old saying, 'there before the grace of God go I.' And this could be you, it could be me, it could be people that you and I know and love dearly," said Ganger.