Feeding Northeast Florida Receives Fly Beyond Key Issue Grant from The Wawa Foundation to Fight Hunger and Inspire Goodness with Food

Shown (l-r) Jack Corey (Driver, Feeding Northeast Florida), Vernetta Stewart, (Chef/Kitchen Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Jacksonville) and Rafael Febus (Driver, Feeding Northeast Florida) following the first delivery of the new community partnership

Jacksonville, Fla. –– July 3, 2024 –– Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) today announced it has received a $36,000 “Fly Beyond” grant from the Wawa Foundation to help provide underserved youth in Northeast Florida with increased access to more nutritious and healthier meal and snack options. Feeding Northeast Florida, the region’s largest food bank and member of the Feeding America Network, serves more than 272,000 food insecure individuals across its 12-county service area –– approximately 90,000 of which are children. While food insecurity is a year-round issue, the food bank steps in as a logistics company and facilitator, rescuing millions of pounds of food per year from retailers and farms and getting it into the hands of those who need it most. The food bank, which will celebrate its 10 year anniversary this Fall, strives to fill the nutritional gaps in its community, making nutritious, healthy foods and products available to all who need them.

The Wawa Foundation’s Fly Beyond Key Issue Grants range between $10,000 and $250,000 and are awarded to qualified partners with existing or new programs aligned with this goal. In total, The Wawa Foundation is awarding $1.5 million to 26 Fly Beyond Key Issue Grant recipients as part of a set of signature initiatives to make more fresh, nutritious meals available to youth and families through its food bank partners.

“Our work is only possible through the incredible support from philanthropic partners like The Wawa Foundation,” said Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “We are grateful and inspired by their dedication to fighting hunger and we are committed to exemplary stewardship  of gifts such as this. . This grant will support many programs at the food bank, including our childhood hunger project, which delivers snack packs and nutritious food into the hands of hungry children in our neighborhoods from  both our  Jacksonville headquarters and our branch operation  in Gainesville, Florida. With The Wawa Foundation’s help, we will continue the fight against children going hungry throughout our region.”

As a current community nonprofit partner of The Wawa Foundation, a member of the Feeding America food bank network, and a future Check-Out Hunger food bank partner of The Wawa Foundation, Feeding Northeast Florida applied for a Fly Beyond Key Issue Grant during the March application period. The Wawa Foundation reviewed proposals and awarded grants based on fit within Fly Beyond criteria and goals, program reach and impact, and size of Wawa market served.

“The Fly Beyond key issue grant is a significant effort to fight food insecurity in our communities and will focus on programs emphasizing that good, nutritious food can build healthy habits, support the success of students and help them thrive,” said Elizabeth Simeone, President of The Wawa Foundation. “We were thrilled to support Feeding Northeast Florida as they work to provide consistent access to nutritious and healthy meals for kids. By supporting these programs and our partners, we hope to inspire others, raise awareness and reach more youth to achieve their greatest potential. We are very excited to begin to share our Fly Beyond mission with our newest Food Bank partners in the Midwest as we begin our expansion to these new markets.”

For more info visit: www.feedingnefl.org/


About Wawa and The Wawa Foundation Fly Beyond Programs
Launched in 2023 with initial partner Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, Fly Beyond programs are supported by Wawa and The Wawa Foundation with the goal of fighting food insecurity at the community level. They are designed to inspire goodness and increase access to fresh, nutritious food and healthy meals for underserved youth through Wawa’s Feeding America food bank partners. Fly Beyond connects all programs focused on this core issue to enable measurements, foster communication and drive solutions. In addition to the Second Harvest program and this key issue grant program, the Fly Beyond initiative also includes “Buy a Kids Meal, Make an Impact.” Running from March through July, for every Wawa Kids Meal sold, Wawa will donate $0.33 of the profits to a local food bank partner, which is the equivalent of one meal for food bank partners.

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