Donations pour in for Positively JAX food drive

News4JAX holds event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy on national day of service

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s legacy, News4JAX held a Positively JAX event on the national day of service to help fill the shelves at the Feeding Northeast Florida food bank.

On Monday, Jan. 17, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., we hosted a food drive at the Channel 4 studios. Thanks to our generous viewers, we filled 40 barrels, each 55 gallons in size.

People came with trunks and cars full of nonperishable food items, ready to help communities that need it the most.

“Times are really rough for everybody right now, and there are times when I’ve needed some help. So, because I got help, I just want to pay it forward,” said Donna Wakefield, who donated to the food drive.

Another person who donated said: “I have in the past been a single parent that was struggling, and I wanted to make sure my son had everything that I could possibly provide for him, and I have a passion to help others.”

PHOTOS: Positively JAX food drive for MLK Day 2022

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” At News4JAX, we want to pay tribute to him and his teachings. On Monday, we are collecting nonperishable food for Feeding Northeast Florida.

While the temperatures were chilly, the warmth of kindness could be felt throughout the day.

“We’re very blessed. We’ve never been hungry and can’t imagine what it’s like for families that are. It’s our way of giving back and supporting those that are really struggling now in these times,” said Judy Reynolds and Zoey Weaver, both of whom donated. “Just do something in your community anytime you can, but today is a particular reminder because it reminds us to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and all that he did for the community and the world.”

Members of the community showed up with donations big and small, proving that one kind act can go a long way.

“Giving is always good,” said Crystal Muray, who donated.

Close to 237,000 people in Northeast Florida experienced food insecurity in 2021.

Here’s how that number breaks down:

  • 1 in 7 people.
  • 1 in 5 children (76,000).
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 53 food deserts exist across Feeding Northeast Florida’s eight-county service area — 38 within Duval County alone.
We are collecting non-perishable food to help feed people in our community who may not be able to afford it otherwise.

Food insecurity is defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

If you couldn’t make it to Monday’s food drive, you can also help by donating online at Feeding Northeast Florida’s virtual food drive here.

The site is set up to resemble a grocery store where donors can move products off the shelf and scan at the register.

Positively Jax features people and organizations making a difference in our community. Know someone who’s doing great work? Nominate them for a Positively Jax Award.

Join the PosJax movement! Check local volunteer opportunities in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.

About the Authors:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.