By Nicola Barnack, director of development, Catholic Charities Jacksonville
Last year, Catholic Charities distributed 151,547 lbs. of food to 6,848 individuals in Northeast Florida, but there are more people, especially in neighborhoods identified as food deserts, an area, especially one with low-income residents, that has limited access to affordable and nutritious food, who are hungry and unable to get nutritious meals. In an effort to be more accessible to clients, and to provide services in a neighborhood where more than 40 percent of residents live in poverty, Catholic Charities is relocating its food pantry and opening a satellite office in Northwest Jacksonville.
The Catholic Charities food pantry will move from its current location at the Providence Center, 134 E. Church St. to the former St. Pius V Catholic School located at 1470 W. 13th St., Jacksonville, FL 32209. Doors are expected to open April 3, 2019.
The satellite office will more than double Catholic Charities’ current available space, increasing its operation from 1,240 square feet to 2,772 square feet. In addition, it will house the Women’s Transformation Program, an initiative of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida supported by the Women’s Giving Alliance. This program is a neighborhood-based initiative, providing women one-on-one coaching and workshops to promote self-sufficiency.
Catholic Charities is excited to have the support of the neighborhood and local businesses that have confirmed the food pantry is a much-welcomed addition to the community.
Through a collaboration with another business at its new location, Ascension St. Vincent’s HealthCare primary care clinic, Catholic Charities’ clients will have access to the clinic, just as those using the clinic will have access to the food pantry. The collaboration is a testament to the power of partnerships, as access to food is necessary for good health.
Currently, the food pantry is open to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays, on a first come, first served basis. Individuals may arrive at 11:00 a.m. to receive a numbered ticket. Food distribution will start at 11:30 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m. Clients are eligible to receive food once every 90 days.
The food pantry is largely managed by our volunteers who pick up and distribute food, make bags, intake clients and maintain data entry. Interested in volunteering for the Catholic Charities food pantry? Please contact Cheryl Estevez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904-354.4846 ext. 269.
For additional information regarding this story, please contact development director Nicola Barnack at email@example.com, or call 904-899-5505.
With the support of United Way, agencies like Catholic Charities are able to help individuals and families in Northeast Florida have hope and reach their full potential. Through the power of partnerships, we support vulnerable individuals of all ages by funding programming focused on sustainable housing, social safety net systems, gender equality and the fight to end hunger. To learn how you can join United Way in the fight for community change, visit unitedwaynefl.org/get-involved.