Our League’s focus for the next several years is Action Against Hunger in Alachua County. Almost one in four children in our county go to bed hungry every night. That needs to change!
Some facts and terms to give you insight:
A food desert is an urban area in which it is difficult to buy quality fresh food. In Gainesville, food deserts are located primarily on the Northeast side of town and in a pocket of Southwest Gainesville.
The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
In Alachua County, the percentage of children under 18 who were food insecure in 2012 was 23.3% — that’s 10,450 children in our community who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.
Each year between 2008 and 2013, the percentage of students eligible to receive free/ reduced lunch has increased. Now more than half of school children in Alachua County qualify for free/reduced lunch.
How the Junior League of Gainesville contributes
We advocate at the local and state government level to help decrease food insecurity for children. We work directly with the Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida and the Bread of the Mighty Food Bank.