HUNGER FIGHT BLOG

We are in the midst of unprecedented events. Air travel banned from foreign countries. Non-essential traffic halted at the borders. School systems shut down for the remainder of the school year. Mandatory quarantines.

How is this affecting you and your family?

At Hunger Fight, we’ve been overwhelmed with phone calls from individuals and various organizations in need of food. This is only expected to increase with so many people out of work. And the kids home all day.

Pantry shelves are empty due to the inability to get any food deliveries and need is great.

It’s overwhelming to say the least because we know how great the need is. Many of these organizations feed hundreds of families, like Hunger Fight.

We are so grateful that we’ve been able to help fill their shelves. We’re only able to because of how amazing our community is.

Our Community Has Stepped Up in a HUGE Way

I’m seriously still amazed by what people are able to do when they see a great need.

I’m not shocked, just amazed!

We are facing something that will potentially cripple families. So many that already live paycheck to paycheck are now out of work. Those that have been already suffering are going to suffer worse.

Things are just beginning for these families. The month of April will truly bring many families to the brink.

It’s scary and we need to fully understand what’s happening around us.

That’s why when people like Lydia McRae and companies like 4Rivers and JaxFresh step up it’s so amazing!

Let me just tell you so you can see for yourself,

PRS Running Club knew that they wanted to do something to help. Before bed one night, Lydia McRae posted on her running club Facebook page about her desire to help the community.

When she woke up there had been close to $2,000 dollars donated.

They called us in the morning with such excitement, “We raised more money than we initially thought.”

That running group is filled with hearts that not only want to make a difference in lives but they are doing it.

But it didn't stop there.

They have now raised nearly $5,000 in just days to help the communities that haven’t been able to get to the school to get their free meals.

You can read the full story click here

And….

4Rivers Smokehouse in the Town Center has reached out to us. They wanted to give chicken nuggets to the children but didn’t know how to get it out.

Well we brought both groups together so they can bless the children that much more.

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How amazing is that?

I smile thinking how excited the kids are going to be and how relieved the parents will feel. I mean come on what kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets. These are families that have no way of getting to the schools to pick up their free meals.

Oh WAIT…. It Doesn’t Stop There

So many individuals and companies have made donations so that we can continue to work with our schools to ensure our meals are still getting distributed for the weekends and had the ability to help organizations like Callahan First Baptist Church, Pie in the Sky in St. Johns County, Food4kids, Heros of Hope, Aboca Window, Connect Church and Volusia School Fuel.

Answers Resource of Keystone Heights is a food pantry. Their shelves were bare and they were unable to get a delivery from their supplier because of the current situation we are in.

They called us! Same with the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs.

We answered and delivered much needed food. But was only possible because of the amazing support from individuals and businesses.

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“Houston, We have a problem!”

Our warehouse, is being depleted quickly.

I walked back there and I’ve never seen it look so empty. But there is enough to get us through this week for our schools and the next.

The plan of course won’t work without our community, but I know your heart, so it eases mine.

The Problem

We cannot pack meals. Your health is important to us and the Covid-19 guidelines have been set!

So, in the meantime we’re planning a packing party (at least that’s what I’m calling it).

But in the meantime, we need to raise the necessary funds for the raw ingredients to fully replenish our inventory and continue feeding our community without skipping a beat.

So once this restriction is lifted we can let the packing party begin. We’ve been receiving calls and emails from so many volunteers on a daily basis asking how they can help.

Thank you! You are all so amazing!

And we will need the help. And the help from others as well. If you’d like to sign-up to volunteer for a packing event you can do so here, and please share with others.

Watch How This Force For Good Group, Wearing Stylish Beard and Hair Nets, Filled The Utah Food Bank

WOW!! Last month we spent two days at The Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2020 in Salt Lake City with over 20 different companies like Enso Rings, Brainstorm, LDS Church, and JustServe while Mark Zuckerberg spoke in the next room.

The plan…. to pack One Million Meals. That’s right ONE MILLION MEALS.

Okay, so if I’m being completely transparent, I wasn’t really sure how this was going to happen.

Let’s be real for a moment, were planning to pack the same number of meals in just two days that we packed in a single year.

But that fear wasn’t going to stop us from trying. Packing any amount of meals would still be helping.

Thousands Flooded The Room To Help Eliminate Food Insecurity

It took a full day to prepare and setup then on January 31st the room began filling up with beautiful people who decided to give their time and money to provide hope and meals to the children of Utah by filling the shelves of the Utah Food Bank.

The room was filled with smiles, music, laughter, excitement and it may have gotten a little competitive. It was loud and so beautiful, as 6,000 like-minded individuals spent their weekend wearing funny looking hair nets on their heads, some on their beards, latex gloves on their hands and spending their time with their co-workers, families and friends.

All to help defeat childhood hunger.

6,000 Volunteers Pack 1,058,400 Meals In Only 2 Days Filling The Utah Food Bank

Not only did we meet the GOAL, but we EXCEEDED it by 58,400 meals. Did I mention this was accomplished in just 2 days!!

It’s a scary statistic but 1 in 7 children in Utah struggle with hunger: that's 135,950 kids. That number is too high!

When I hear this, it hurts my heart to think about how their young lives are being affected.

A Stomach Grumble Is The Least of Their Problems

Hunger is more than just a grumble or pain in their bellies. It makes learning difficult, staying focused is impossible, it affects their mental well-being and ultimately destroys their overall health.

I know how I feel sitting at my desk hungry some day and waiting for lunchtime to come. It seems all I can think about is food at the time. Focusing on the work task isn't easy when I feel this way. And honestly, this doesn't compare to the way the children feel. I know that I'm going to eat.

There's no specific time that they can expect food, they don’t even know if there will be any.

The 6,000 individuals that came out and packed meals gave more than just food to the children of Utah - they gave them hope.

Children are the most vulnerable to food insecurity. If you'd like to help please click here $1 feeds four children.

Hunger Fight

When we launched in 2012, the idea behind Hunger Fight was simple – help everyone that we possibly could.

Sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it?

But in reality, it wasn’t that simple. Yes, we were doing a lot, after all we had already packaged and delivered over 5.2 million meals, but we were doing little across Jacksonville. That in itself isn’t a problem. The problem is Jacksonville is HUGE. It’s impossible to make any type of real impact in the community when you're spread across the entire city. So, we had to figure out a way to do this.

This Simple Change Made All the Difference

In order to make an impact, and a real difference, on an entire community, we needed to give them all of our focus. After much consideration, we decided to choose the most affected areas of Jacksonville - Raines, Ribault and some pockets of Arlington which we felt could benefit the most. If we could change these areas, we can really make a difference in ALL of Jacksonville.

We selected six elementary schools in the Ribault/Raines area where we provide every child in need of a meal over the weekend for the entire year. We partner with other organizations, such as Lutheran Social Services to supplement their deliveries to the other schools in the same community. Through these services, and through the provision of our literacy program in these same zip codes, we are making a positive impact on the children we are serving.

Making a difference in a community requires team work. Without the support we’ve been blessed to have from local businesses, churches, organizations and individuals we wouldn’t be able to make the impact that we have been making.

The impact is now being seen and we’ve been lucky enough to start hearing some amazing stories from the teachers and administration. We’ll put them together and start sharing them. Here’s one of our favorite comments regarding a child’s delight in helping his family, “One child was overwhelmed with joy to bring home meals and contribute to his family.”

You may be shocked to hear this but, Clay County has a major problem with food insecurity. Thousands of children go home from school every Friday to a house with limited to NO food. We don’t want to think about it, and we certainly don’t want to believe this is possible in our own country, in our own community, but it’s TRUE. Can you imagine?

Something AMAZING happens when understanding and compassion come together - CHANGE!

Hunger Fight recently hosted it's 4th Annual Clay County Community Outreach Event. 12 companies, their employees and a group of volunteers gathered together to package over 44,000 meals for elementary students in Clay County. Not only did everyone have a fun, the young children who helped learned about the growing issues children face in our community. They also uncovered the solution and learned compassion.

Isn’t this amazing!

Here you can see the excitement they had:

WOW, is the first word that comes to mind when describing this years Thanksgiving packing event. We had so many amazing companies join us and we’re so grateful for all the employees that came out on their own free time to help make this event such a success.

Just look what some of the companies had to say:

Pratt Guys
Fight Hunger with 588 Bags of brown sugar oatmeal, amongst of room of hundreds at Hunger Fight, Reach out and Feed Someone, preparing shelf-stable meals for children and families who live daily with hunger. Read their blog post here - https://prattguys.com/the-pratt-post/hungerfight2018?fbclid=IwAR3O7BUtohA6Gh7vqWt2H858kTphJ-KLTLwzPBKzeB_wOR_Rm6siAjInBaA

“Many of our RF-SMART employees volunteered at Hunger Fight, Reach out and Feed Someone. There have been 5,875,632 meals packed to date and we are proud to say that we contributed to that number.”  

LandSouth
“We had a great time Saturday at the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Community Outreach Packing Event hosted by Hunger Fight, Reach out and Feed Someone! It was a pleasure helping out an amazing organization.”  

Jax Federal Credit Union
“I just wanted to let you know what a great time we had packing meals of Friday and Saturday. My whole team has said how much they enjoyed it and would love to do it again. We are also very interested in participating in the Hunger Fight Games in April.”

288,624 Meals Were Packed & 11,520 Books Raised for Preschoolers

It’s amazing just how many children will go home with a meal each weekend because of the hearts of companies and their employees.  

All of these meals will go back into our community. Some of the companies chose where they’d like the meals they packaged go and others asked that it go to where ever it’s needed most.

We Can Change All of Jacksonville With Just This Shift in Focus

This past year we have taken great interest in the Raines and Ribault areas of Jacksonville, as it is one of the most affected areas. We believe that if we can help change this are of town we can make a huge difference in all of Jacksonville.

We’ve also added a literacy program which will provide children from the ages of 0-5 years old with an age appropriate book every single month. This is going to be simply amazing for so many reasons. Not only will the children get to build their very own library of books and get a head start with school, but the parents will also have an opportunity to learn to read as well.

Want to be part of our 6th Annual Thanksgiving Outreach Packing Event? Simply sign up here get notified by email.

Get into the holiday spirit with Restorations Church Christmas benefit concert series featuring Handel's "Messiah". All donations will go to Hunger Fight to help combat child hunger right here in Jacksonville. Who doesn’t love listening to live Christmas music while helping your own community during the holiday season.

Did You Know This Is Happening?

Food insecurity is a real problem throughout Jacksonville. There are children as young as 6 going home over the weekend with little to NO Food in their homes. Nearly all of the elementary schools in the Arlington area are effected by this. Restoration Church is stepping up and giving a voice to each and every child in this area. Our easy-prep, nutritional meals are sent home with the children on Fridays to ensure that they will come back to school Monday with food in their belly and ready to learn.

Get Your Tickets Today

Visit: https://support.hungerfight.org/event/messiah-for-hunger-fight/e202791 and get your tickets for December 8th or 9th. Get into the holiday season with a Christmas concert that will feed the children in your very own community.

 
NEFAR members and friends packaged over 75,000 meals for hungry children, seniors and families in Northeast Florida, after having donated more than $20,000 to buy the food. #NEFARGoodWorks
 

REGISTER TO VOTE for each of HUNGER FIGHT’s videos EVERY DAY at: https://superservicechallenge.com/

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Funded by business leaders and their other partners, the Super Service Challenge has donated to Hunger Fight annually based on your votes for the videos we have posted to their website. For 2018, Hunger Fight has submitted videos of our recent meal packing events hosted by ElderSource Institute, the Reinhold Foundation, the Florida Engineering Society, the Volusia Young Professionals Group, Ascension Health, and Jacksonville University’s football team & Nursing program! Whether you vote, donate, or do both, the HUNGER FIGHT team thanks you for supporting community efforts that volunteers like you have participated in to provide more than 5.4 million meals to feed Title 1 students, children, families and seniors in northeast Florida!

Hunger Fight

With just over 1611 students in grades K-12 in Hamilton County, 1604 depend on the free or reduced breakfasts and lunches they get at school to keep them healthy, alert and ready for school. The team was happy to arrange a delivery of over 5 pallets containing meal boxes and our own nutritious Hunger Fight family meal packages today as part of our FEED THE BACKPACKS program, that will send nutritious weekend meals home with Title 1 students.

KPMG

Hunger Fight is all about feeding hungry children; but, did you know that we want to help feed hungry minds as well? Working with KPMG’s Family for Literacy program, 5,000 children’s books were brought into our Dawn Road headquarters, where over 50 KPMG volunteers set up the warehouse to welcome Duval County teachers. Each educator was allowed their choice of 50 books, and received a goodie bag of school supplies for their classrooms that included crayons, pencils, rulers, markers, highlighters and more. Many thanks to the KPMG team for choosing Hunger Fight to host this event, and look for more Hunger Fight support of children’s literacy in the months ahead!

Hunger Fight

With a full schedule of meal packing events coming up, we knew that we were going to need more sachets of our nutritious and vitamin-enriched cheese blend prepared! Team AETNA delivered, with 17 local employees who spent an afternoon with us! They scooped, measured and packed over 11,000 sachets that will be used by volunteers in preparing and packaging Cheezy Mac meals at 3 upcoming events. Thank you, AETNA, for having employees wanting to serve the community! You’re all helping Hunger Fight provide even more healthy meals to First Coast children and families in need!

Walmart2The team at Walmart Neighborhood Market’s San Pablo store joined us in February to pack thousands of meals for Title 1 children attending Alimacani and Neptune Beach Elementary Schools.

Walmar

Our partnership with Walmart through its local Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club stores continues to benefit Title 1 Pre-K to 5th grade students throughout the First Coast. With Hunger Fight meal packing events taking place right in the front of their stores, they are feeding the backpacks to send tens of thousands of nourishing weekend breakfast and dinner meals home with food insecure boys and girls attending elementary schools including Beauclerc, Hyde Grove, Hyde Park, Gregory Drive, Sadie Tillis, Jacksonville Heights, Lake Lucina, Merrill Road, Alimicani, and Neptune Beach, to name a few. Staff members from the schools have been turning out to join them, packing meals alongside store representatives for the children who live in the store’s surrounding neighborhood service areas.

North Jax Youth package over 28,000 meals for children in need in the north Jacksonville area.

Christ UMC and St. Johns Catholic church pack 10,000 meals for children in the beaches area.

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