2 Duval County schools get new food pantries

Feeding Northeast Florida helps students, families with full pantries

By Jennifer Ready - Reporter, Erin Fisher - Producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Feeding Northeast Florida will open new food pantries at two Duval County schools to help feed children who would otherwise go without.

Full food pantries will be added at KIPP Jacksonville and West Riverside Elementary School. The pantries will be modeled after a pantry already in use at Dinsmore Elementary School.

The President and CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, Frank Castillo, said one in four children in Duval County are food insecure, which means they aren't sure where their next meal will come from.

"It is very important for us that if we look at the 50,000 children that are in need in our particular community, that we not only think about getting them fed, but getting them fed with energy to provide for a better future tomorrow," Castillo said.

Students and their families can "shop" in the pantry any time they are in need of food. 

According to Castillo, adding the pantries will also help educate families on healthy food options for proper nourishment and adequate energy.

They need items like peanut butter, low-sugar cereals and unsweetened applesauce. All foods, Castillo says can fuel kids and their families for a successful day. 

"The children who are hungry, it's not just them, it's their parents who also need the energy and the nourishment to be able to provide for them," Castillo said.

During the summer, the food bank says food donations are lower because people are on vacation or don’t have the resources to give. For more information on donating food or money toward Feeding Northeast Florida, click here.

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