JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Food banks across the country, including one in Jacksonville, are experiencing a surge in demand after an extra $600 in federal unemployment benefits expired last week.
David Thomas is just one of hundreds of people who waited in long lines Wednesday morning for free food and vegetables provided by Lutheran Social Services.
“Can’t get around as much as I used to, as far as groceries go, this is a big two thumbs up,‘ Thomas said.
The food was donated by Feeding Northeast Florida, Farm Share and other nonprofits at a time when many people are feeling the financial pressure of being out of a job.
Bob Brim is the executive director of Lutheran Social Services. He says his office also offers people career financial assistance and help finding a job. People started lining up for the food bank at 7 a.m. for the free food giveaway that started at 10 a.m. -- proving the need is great for people from every socioeconomic background.
“You’ll see all walks of life in here. People who never thought they’d be in a food bank line, professional people that had jobs for 20 years, who lost it now, who are having to ask for help, and we are blessed to be out there,” Brim said.
Fresh vegetables, fruits, beef, chicken, dairy products, watermelons, and dairy products -- just a few of the items that will help local families put food on the table.
Lutheran Social Services hosts the mobile food banks on the first Wednesday of every month, and every 3rd Friday of the month.