Feeding Northeast Florida [FNEFL] today announced the launch of The Corner Market mobile pantry, which will provide healthy food to children and families across the nonprofit’s eight-county footprint.
The market was funded through a matching grant of $125,000 from the Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation. Ward and Glock joined Susan King, CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida, for the market’s debut at The Bethel Church earlier today.
Food insecurity affects approximately one in six adults and one in four school-aged children in Northeast Florida. With the additional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for food resources has nearly doubled in the span of a year. This mobile market aims to help meet that need by providing individualized food services to families in our community with a sense of dignity and the guidance to make healthier choices.
“We are proud to partner with Feeding Northeast Florida to help fight hunger in our community,” said Jennifer Glock, Co-Trustee of the Michael Ward and Jennifer Glock Foundation.
This initiative is especially close to Glock’s heart, who as a child, worked in her father and uncle’s neighborhood grocery store. She remembers her father delivering groceries to neighbors who could not shop in the store and allowing families to buy on credit until they could pay him back. “Some never paid him back, but he continued to give them credit,” recalled Glock. “It is my turn to feed families in honor of my kind and giving father. Michael and I are excited that this mobile pantry will fight hunger in our neighborhoods and that families will have a dependable source for healthy food close to home.”
The market will target food deserts in Northeast Florida. These are areas where families have limited access to grocery stores and limited transportation. “This market is a way for us to take a targeted approach and really influence the lives and health of our most impacted and hard to reach neighbors,” said Rachel McCandless, Health and Nutrition Director of FNEFL. “It not only provides food, but healthy food in an atmosphere fostering dignity and self-agency.”
FNEFL is piloting the market at Sulzbacher Village and Community Health Outreach currently with plans to expand operations into schools, churches, community centers and medical clinics across Northeast Florida. FNEFL will work with each site to identify participants. “Our partner sites will be able to focus on those most in need, magnifying our impact and reaching those hardest to reach through our customary channels,” McCandless said.
“Partnerships like this make what we do possible,” said King, CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “We will not only be able to address food insecurity but also impact the overall health of our neighbors facing higher rates of nutrition related diseases like diabetes and hypertension. We are honored to collaborate with Michael and Jennifer to continue to make a difference in our community, bringing nutritious food to families who need it most.”
Additional support for The Corner Market has been provided by Robert and Margaret Hill, The Jaguars Foundation, United Healthcare, Florida Blue, and the City of Jacksonville. These partnerships will enable Feeding Northeast Florida to continue its work to improve the quality of life in Northeast Florida by addressing food insecurity, poverty and poor health by providing nutritious food and other essential goods to those in need.