(L-R) Sabrina Sorrentino, Amy Pierce (Winn-Dixie), Donna Long and Jennifer Wirz (JFCS), Jennifer Shepard and Greg Stanford (Winn-Dixie), and delivery driver, Cliff.

Jewish Family & Community Services takes great pride and care in providing everyone that comes to the Max Block Food Pantry with food staples that help them to keep themselves and their families fed. Over the past several months we have seen a dramatic increase in people seeking assistance. Those on a fixed income and the working poor are facing an especially difficult situation right now with the rise in other monthly expenses such as gas, food, and housing costs.

Despite the ongoing support of the Block family, for whom the pantry was named, due to higher than expected demand and the expansion into two elementary schools we faced a severe shortage of available food needed to effectively operate. Fortunately, long-time JFCS supporter, Winn-Dixie, with the Winn-Dixie Gives Foundation, stepped in and provided a welcome short-term solution with an emergency delivery of 200 cases of shelf-stable pantry essentials on Thursday, May 5.

“The generous assistance of Winn-Dixie came at a critical time,” said JFCS Director of Development Susie Menaged. “It will help us meet the current demand while we turn to the community to meet our long-term goals through our hunger relief fundraising drive.”

JFCS recently launched its annual Max Block Food Pantry Match Challenge. Now through July 31, every monetary donation to our food pantry is matched by donations from Jacksonville’s Block family. In addition to the heightened demand due in part to rising inflation, we typically see an increase in usage during the summer months when children who benefit during the school year from reduced-cost or free school breakfasts and lunches are out of school, so this year’s annual challenge will be critical to raising the funds needed to keep the pantry stocked throughout the year.

In 2021, the Max Block Food Pantry served nearly 140,000 meals to more than 15,000 clients. We served another 1,300 children and families through two school satellite programs. We anticipate even higher numbers this year.

If you’d like to give and see your dollars go twice as far to help individuals and families make ends meet, click on the “Donate” button below, and thank you in advance for your generous support.