Each year, the Feeding Florida network provides over millions of pounds of food to Floridians facing hunger. This past fiscal year, our food banks provided 404 million pounds of food to the 2.2 million Floridians facing hunger, including over 6600,000 children.
Children: Good nutrition is critically important to children for foundational development. Hungry children are often lethargic, unable to concentrate in class and are more likely to become ill. The nutrition available to a child has serious implications on their future mental and physical health, academic achievement and economic productivity. Unfortunately, over 660,000 million children in Florida don’t have consistent access to enough nutritious food and are vulnerable to the potential long-term effects of inadequate food access.
Seniors: Many seniors enter their retirement years on a tight budget. And for too many seniors, unexpected expenses lead to difficult financial decisions like having to choose between food, medicine and utilities. Grocery budgets are usually reduced first by cutting out the more expensive and more nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy. Unlike working age adults, seniors are less likely to recover from financial strain and are more likely to suffer negative health consequences from a poor diet. Studies have shown seniors who have inadequate access to food are 2.33 times more likely to be in fair or poor health.
Working Poor: Often the families we serve have at least one working adult in the household. This means that people are trying to make ends meet but they’re underemployed. Their job might pay too much for them to qualify for government benefits, but it’s not enough to provide for a family.
Single Parents: Providing for your family as a single parent isn’t easy, especially if you’re a low-income household. Single parents often rely on day care which is another expense on top of rent, transportation, and utilities, so the ability to provide nutritious food usually takes a back seat to the other expenses.
Veterans: After years of serving their country, many veterans are not able to find long-term work or high-paying jobs, either as a result of physical injury, mental stress, or trouble assimilating with civilian life. As a result, many veterans end up jobless, homeless, and hungry.
Former Neighbors: Much like hunger, homelessness is a symptom of a larger systemic breakdown. We work with shelters and group homes to provide the sustenance necessary to find permanent housing, income, and other critical services.