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How Feeding Florida Helps Shorten the Line

How Feeding Florida Helps Shorten the Line

At Feeding Florida, we believe hunger is a symptom of an under-resourced household. This is why we strive to increase food access and provide tools to help strengthen our families and individuals so they can get back on their feet. As a network and with the help of strategic partners, we aim to equip Floridians with the skills needed to access critical resources and support their household.

The Department of Health and Human Services lists five main social determinants of health: economic stability, education access, healthcare access, neighborhood and built environment, and social & community context. Here are some of the ways our network aims to meet all these needs through unique programs and partner opportunities:

 

Economic Stability

Did you know our network is dedicated to connecting families who need help with resources to obtain some stability? Some of these include helping families engage with SNAP outreach programs or connecting them to rent and utility assistance programs like OUR Florida. Food insecure individuals are often faced with making difficult financial choices like purchasing nutritious food versus paying for health insurance, childcare or other bills, which is why we offer programs like Fresh Access Bucks (FAB). FAB is a nutrition incentive program that increases the purchasing power of SNAP recipients to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmer's markets, produce stands, CSAs, mobile markets, and community grocery outlets.

 

Education Access

Education is a powerful tool to wield, but it comes in many forms. Nutrition education is pivotal for our Food RX programs and working with families to develop and maintain more nutritious food habits. Along with our food banks provided much needed access to these nutritious foods, it’s the kind of match that can improve chronic health issues and the overall health of a family.  Several of our food banks also offer workforce development programs, giving our Florida families and individuals more than just a meal box, but hope for a brighter future. From Feeding Tampa Bay’s Fresh Force driving program to Treasure Coast Food Banks’s Culinary Academy, our network is dedicated to providing job training programs to help our families secure employment and stabilize their households.

 

Healthcare Access

Hunger often leads to a weakened immune system and poor health, which is why our network has established several partnerships with healthcare providers to ensure our food bank recipients have access to nutrition experts and healthy food options, even in food deserts. Partnerships with organizations like Simply Healthcare Plans and Florida Blue help fund our FoodRx programs, Mobile Farmacy and medically tailored meals. Combatting hunger isn’t just about putting food on people’s plates, it’s ensuring that the food being provided is nutritious and helps promote their physical health.

 

Neighborhood and Built Environment

In order for our food banks to see progress and change for the families they serve, there must be a roof over their head and a community willing to help them. Because hunger is a small part of a larger problem, our food banks work with schools, churches, and other partner agencies to connect clients to a community of support. We also work with community partners that focus on housing support, like OUR Florida, which provide financial assistance for those with unpaid rent and utilities bills.

 

Access to food

While Feeding Florida does focus on all aspects of an individual’s well-being and tries to cater to every possible need, our main goal as an organization has always been to eliminate hunger in the state of Florida. We do so by providing year-round access to food and fresh Florida produce, no matter what. Whether you visit our food banks, partner agency food pantries, mobile pantries or receive hand-delivered meal-boxes, our food banks will always be ready to provide nutritious, healthy food options. It’s what we do.

Most Recent News:

Press Release: Feeding Florida Network Prepares Hunger Relief Efforts as Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

Feeding Florida's food banks are poised and ready to provide statewide relief to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian- planning emergency relief, staging MREs and water in partnership with the State of Florida, and preparing to mobilize to affected communities.

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Press Release: Feeding Florida to Increase Food Access in Underserved and Vulnerable Communities Across the Sunshine State with Simply Healthcare Plans $300,000 Investment

Feeding the Gulf Coast, a member of the Feeding Florida network, in partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans (Simply), hosted a mobile food distribution to provide nutritious and shelf-stable food items for 200 Pensacola families living in high-poverty zip codes. This is one in a series of events across the state to combat hunger relief leveraging Simply’s $300,000 investment over two years.

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How to Take Action Against Hunger

This Hunger Action Month we want to encourage you to get proactive in the fight against hunger in Florida. With 2.2 million individuals experiencing hunger across the state, there is no shortage of need for support and hunger relief. The Feeding Florida network of food banks offers you plenty of opportunities to help in your local community. With support from volunteers and generous donors, our network is able to further our reach into Florida’s 67 counties and provide relief to those who need us the most.

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