Just finished an interview with Robert @ First Coast News, Channels 12 and 25 respectively. I was given the privilidge of representing the Jacksonville area Food Relief Agencies & Food pantries or the NE FL Food Crisis Relief Team needs to their Northeast Florida audience. The clip should air today at 11pm.
Here is what we spoke about, and I thought it would be good if we could share it with others to help explain our current situation as we attempt to feed the hungry here in NE Florida.
I called it the “Quintuple Perfect Storm”
- 70% Nationwide drop in Grocery retailers’ donations– Supply Chain issues, Weather issues affecting harvests, Public stocking away food ” Panic Buying” as they see the economy tanking.
- Since 2020 the Absence of Large Donations– Public giving is down, Corporate giving dried up as attention was moved, due to the economy to other pressing needs.
- Infrastructure Breakdowns, Many of the trucks and vans were heavily used and now are in need of costly repairs, Worn out freezers and refrigerators, Re-roofing and general maintenance to facilities
- The Pandemic Delta & Omicron variants have increased the need as people are going unemployed and without work so no pay, Volunteers are few and far between among the Baby boom generation. The younger crowd are missing in action unless they get a ticket and need to do community hours.
- Worsening Economy Inflation has increased the burden on everyone as less can be purchased with the same dollar. Gas prices have hit the pantries and food banks hard because of the need for fuel to make pick ups and deliveries of donated food.
In general things are not going to get any better for Food Relief Agencies. I strongly recommend and support increased inter-agency sharing on all levels. Together we can continue to provide nutrition while helping maintain the dignity of those Hungry & Needy in the Northeast Florida area.
See interview here: https://youtu.be/zgs_ae732aw
Jose L Bosque, Director
NE FL Crisis Food Relief Team