Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida Regional Food Assistance Program (CCNWFL) has been awarded a $400,000 grant by the Florida Blue Foundation through its Food Security Grant Program. The funds will be disbursed over a four-year period from 2021-2024 in payments of $100,000 per year. The grant award will be used across the agency’s 18-county Northwest Florida and Big Bend service area with a goal to impact food security for families and communities by helping to mitigate associated costly issues, which can be detrimental to health, development, and well-being.
Catholic Charities’ “Neighbors Helping Neighbors Across Northwest Florida” Food Security Grant will establish the CCNWFL mobile food pantry program out of Panama City which will provide food assistance to rural food deserts in the surrounding areas. It will increase access to and availability of healthy, nutritious food from the five food groups across its three regional food pantries based in Tallahassee, Fort Walton Beach, and Panama City, as well as two mobile food pantries. It will also offer the opportunity to provide an increased awareness about enrolling for benefits in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
“Through this grant, we will be able to provide nutritional education using a holistic approach to care for the whole person with our collaborative community partners,” said Matt Knee, Executive Director of CCNWFL. “We believe that feeding individuals who are hungry is more than just providing food. It’s a chance to give them a strong footing toward future food security.”
Florida Blue Foundation offers the Food Security Grant Program as a way of making a positive impact in the community and is firmly rooted in the company’s mission to help people and communities achieve better health.
“As a mission-driven company, we want to address critical issues such as food security in the communities we serve,” said Daniel Vermette, Florida Blue Market Leader for Northwest Florida. “Supporting Catholic Charities’ local and mobile food pantries allow us to bring these neighborhoods the help they need, where they need it. Having enough nutritious food is the first step to healthy living.”