HAPPENINGS Second Harvest North Florida • Volume 10, Issue 1 • February 2010 • www.WeNourishHope.org
Hunger study reveals almost 200,000 in need
landmark study released in February by Second Harvest North Florida and Feeding America reports that more than 170,700 people receive emergency food each year through Second Harvest and the agencies it serves in north Florida. The 2010 Hunger Study, which was conducted by Second Harvest North Florida and Feeding “Hunger in America, revealed that nearly 14 million children in the United States are receiving emergency America 2010” is food through the Feeding America Network. the first research study to capture the need our help – of all children receiving food from us, significant connection between the recent economic six percent of them are five years old or younger.” downturn and an increased need for emergency “Contrary to the image we usually have of food assistance. The number of children and adults a hungry person, one in every four households in need of food as a result of experiencing food receiving food from Second Harvest has at least one insecurity has significantly increased. employed adult,” according to Mantz. “About one-third In the 18 counties served by Second Harvest of the people we serve are having to choose between North Florida, more than 100,000 people are paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel, experiencing very low food security—or hunger. An paying for food and paying for rent or mortgage, or estimated 31,400 people receive emergency food paying for food and paying for transportation – all assistance each week from a food pantry, soup nearly impossible choices to make.” kitchen or other agency served by Second Harvest “It is morally reprehensible that we live in the North Florida. wealthiest nation in the world where one in six people An estimated 5.7 million people receive is struggling to make choices between food and other emergency food assistance each week from a food basic necessities,” said Vicki Escarra, president and pantry, soup kitchen, or other agency served by one CEO of Feeding America. “These are choices that no of Feeding America’s more than 200 food banks, one should have to make, but particularly households including Second Harvest North Florida. This is a 27 with children. Insufficient nutrition has adverse effects percent increase over numbers reported in “Hunger on the physical, behavioral as well as mental health, in America 2006,” which reported that 4.5 million and academic performance of children. It is critical people were served each week. More than 37 million that we ensure that no child goes to bed hungry in people—including 14 million children and nearly America as they truly are our engine of economic 3 million seniors—are receiving emergency food growth and future vitality.” each year through the Feeding America network. The The methodology incorporated into the 2010 numbers represent a 46 percent increase since the study includes data collected from February through last study was released in 2006. June 2009. Second Harvest North Florida conducted “This report confirms with data what we have face-to-face interviews with 194 people seeking been seeing for the past 18 months at least,” Thomas emergency food at food pantries, soup kitchens Mantz, executive director for Second Harvest North and other emergency feeding programs, as well as Florida, said. “The most sobering facts relate to the interviews with more than 201 agencies that provide increased numbers of children and working poor who food assistance.
Second Harvest Hours of Operation
Mon.-Thurs............7:15 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Fridays..........................7:15 a.m.-noon
Second Harvest’s Mission, Values and Operations w What do we do? We work to end hunger in our community.
w What are our values? We embody compassion, fairness and respect. w How do we work? We work collaboratively, openly and as leaders in the community. Member Agency Advisory Council On Feb. 9, the Member Agency Advisory Council (MAAC) met for the second time. The Council, which is comprised of six members has representatives from both large and small agencies located in both urban and rural settings and includes soup kitchens and food pantries. As Second Harvest North Florida continues to grow and as we work hard to expand our services, we know that it is vitally important for us to work with our network of member agencies to ensure that we are meeting your needs. In this most recent meeting, the MAAC offered an evaluation of current Second Harvest policies and worked to help us understand and evaluate what is fair. The group will continue to meet once a quarter to offer input and suggestions and help evaluate policy changes as we all work together to help end hunger here in north Florida. Reminder of Check-In Procedures: All agencies now check in at our new welcome center on the east side of the building (the left as you face it). Please check in with our receptionist before proceeding on to the shopping floor.
Second Harvest North Florida 1502 Jessie Street Jacksonville, FL 32206 www.WeNourishHope.org
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www.WeNourishHope.org The mission of Second Harvest North Florida is to distribute food and grocery products to hungry people and to educate the public about the causes and possible solutions to problems of domestic hunger.
1502 Jessie Street Jacksonville, FL 32206 Main: 904.353.3663 (FOOD)
Member Agency Information: Jim Chynoweth, Director of Procurement and Agency Relations 904.353.3663, fax 904.358.4281 jchynoweth@WeNourishHope.org
Volunteer Information: Leah Bezares, Office Manager 904.353.3663 lbazares@WeNourishHope.org
To Make Financial Donations: Karen Rieley, Vice President for Advancement 904.730.8281 krieley@WeNourishHope.org
uTo learn more, see http:// www.WeNourishHope.org/ how-to-help.
FROM SECOND HARVEST’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
ometimes it is impossible to provide a frame to put around the picture that tells the story. We often use statistics to tell our story, citing meteoric rises in the population we are serving. We also try to humanize the matter by offering stories that Thomas Mantz seek to personify the crisis. In short, we do whatever we can to connect our story and its urgency to our community – delivering, we hope, a lasting impression that too many people are hungry, too many children are facing life-affecting nutrition issues and there is a way to help if we all join together. Our role at Second Harvest is to feed the hungry. Every day we focus on that single idea – that there is a person who is hungry today, and our goal is to find that person a meal.
But there is much more to the story – and it is something we all need to hear. We have been reviewing the latest national hunger study, and the numbers confirm what we already knew – that hunger is rising in huge proportions and is affecting a greater percentage of our community than ever before. Really, it’s staggering. It isn’t just the “poor people” who need food anymore. It is now nurses, mechanics, teachers – folks of all professions who are in need of food sustenance. There is a really good chance that someone you know is on a type of food assistance, and you aren’t even aware of it. That person who administers health care, teaches children or makes the car safe might not have eaten yet today. Food insecurity is reaching all of us, in ways, places and people we never suspected. That is a loud message, and one I hope all of us can hear. The time for us to rally is now. The opportunity to change the equation is right before us.