JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Millions of families across the state and some right here in Jacksonville won’t have food for the holidays.
Farm Share is doing its best to help with that.
On Saturday, food will be given out to hundreds of families. It’s first come, first served and there’s always a line.
There are two sides to Farm Share’s operation: giving and receiving. Marketing director Gil Zepeda says it’s been a challenge on both sides.
“Our cost of operations has gone up significantly and also labor has gone up.” Zepeda said. “A lot of folks have been trying to get back into the workforce.”
As the housing market, food and gas prices rise, Zepeda said that “the very first thing that folks cut is the donations to organizations like ours.”
Just weeks before Christmas and New Year’s, Farm Share organizers say volunteering, donating and spreading the word will help these families.
“The pandemic, thank goodness because of the vaccine, has been somewhat ameliorated. Nevertheless, we are still facing a huge issue when it comes to food insecurity, because of everything else that’s been going on,” Zepeda said. “We’re letting folks know to be more aware right of what’s going on around them. And to be able to see that food insecurity is an issue that faces a lot of folks this holiday season.”
He says it’s not just homeless people with food insecurities, but our neighbors struggling to keep food on the table.
For Farm Share to give, it has to get.
That starts with donations. “Donating just $25 means 210 meals for a family in need,” Zepeda said.
Farm Share plans to give food to 300 households Saturday, Dec. 11, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 11665 Fort Caroline Road in Jacksonville. Recipients will receive fresh produce and non-perishable canned goods. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, distributions are drive-thru only to minimize contact and to help ensure the safety of all parties, and attendees must wear a mask and arrive in a vehicle with a trunk or cargo bed.
If you’d like more information about Farm Share, visit FarmShare.org.