Florida Blue helps to improve quality of life on Jacksonville’s Eastside

Florida Blue announces more than $2 million for Jacksonville's Eastside neighborhood (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida Blue has invested more than $2 million into organizations helping address generational poverty in Jacksonville’s 32206 ZIP code. This is part of the company’s “Growing Resilient Communities” initiative, which helps provide education, financial security, safe and healthy living conditions, improved health status and food security in areas that need it.

“Growing Resilient Communities is an aspirational effort to contribute our company’s core competencies, strengths and assets into existing initiatives to help end the cycle of generational poverty in these communities,” said Florida Blue President and CEO Pat Geraghty. “It is our goal to both build upon the work already underway in the Eastside community and support comprehensive strategies to improve housing, education, workforce development and the overall health of this community.”

On Wednesday, Florida Blue announced contributions to Lift Jax and Goodwill North Florida to support revitalization and food security in the Eastside community.

  • LIFT JAX was supplied with a $1 million grant to support its efforts to eradicate generational poverty in Jacksonville’s Eastside through collaboration with the Historic Eastside Community Development Corporation to holistically revitalize the community. The investment will further the organization’s focus on mixed-income housing, cradle-to-career education, community wellness and long-term financial vitality.
  • Goodwill Industries of North Florida was supplied with a $400,000 grant to address food insecurity in the Eastside community by restoring and operating the Debs Store Neighborhood Market. After restoration, the historic building will include a neighborhood market to make fresh food regularly available to the community on the first floor and a community meeting place that offers career and workforce development training as well as financial assistance training on the second floor.

“This generous contribution from the Florida Blue Foundation is going to go a long way for the Eastside community,” said David Garfunkel, president of LIFT JAX. “As one of our first and largest donors, we truly appreciate the dedication Florida Blue has toward improving local residents’ lives. This donation brings us one step closer to elevating the Historic Eastside out of poverty.”

“At Goodwill, we are passionate about working with the local community to ensure every person has an opportunity for employment and education. We are thankful for all the support from our great partners at the Florida Blue Foundation, as well as David Garfunkel with LIFT JAX, who has done amazing work to bring us all together,” said David Rey, CEO of Goodwill North Florida. “And we could not attempt this project if it were not for the Debs family, the support of the City of Jacksonville and the amazing collaboration amongst the organizations mentioned above.”

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