As Thanksgiving approaches, the Shepherd Agency has so much to be thankful for. We have quite literally moved up in Jacksonville. As you look out the window in our lobby, taking in the breathtaking view, it is sometimes hard to believe that within your sight, there are countless people going hungry. In 2010, Florida Hunger Data indicated that over 342,000 individuals are considered, “food insecure.” Meaning they face a daily struggle just to find enough food to eat and in some cases, provide for their families.
Yet, the sad truth is there is hunger right in our backyard. One easy way the Shepherd flock can help the hungry in our city is to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank. The Gate Foundation has teamed up with Second Harvest, and conveniently set up collection boxes in the plaza-level garage walkway and in the hallway of the concourse, near the café. This way you can easily drop off your contribution on the way into work.
Second Harvest of North Florida’s food donation goal for 2013 is 40 million pounds. Unfortunately, they’ve only collected 24 million pounds, slightly more than half their goal. The fastest growing class facing limited access to food, and federal or state assistance, is the working poor. In the 17 counties assisted by Second Harvest, 140,000 people are in this category. More than 40 percent have households with one or more adults working.
According to Second Harvest, the greatest need is for canned fruits, vegetables, meat, newborn baby diapers, dry rice and dry pasta.