Nourishment Network

Offering Hope to the Hungry

Nearly 20 percent of Duval County residents suffer from food insecurity – meaning they don’t know when or where they will get their next meal. In fact, one in four children throughout Northeast Florida struggles with hunger or food insecurity on a daily basis.

Lutheran Social Services has spent more than 35 years fighting local hunger through a wide array of hunger-relief initiatives. In 2014, Lutheran Social Services rebranded this portion of its outreach as the Nourishment Network to focus on specific populations that were slipping through the cracks. Current Nourishment Network programs include:

  • Backpack provides nutritious food to schoolchildren receiving free or reduced-fee lunches during the school week. The food sent home with the students each Friday provides healthy meals and snacks for the weekend, when school meals are not available. The initiative continues to provide vital support, sending an average of 900 bags of food home with students every month.

LSS relies on volunteers groups to run food drives for backpack items and to help pack them each week. Click here for a list of needed items.  If you are interested in volunteering to run a food drive and/or help pack bags, email us.

  • Health Begins Before Birth aims to reduce Duval County’s infant mortality rate by providing healthy food and nutritional education to high risk pregnant women.

Health Begins Before Birth delivered powerful results since its inception, distributing nearly 170,000 pounds of food to at-risk prenatal women. To date, every woman who stayed in the program delivered a healthy, full-term baby.

  • Serving Our Seniors delivers food pantry distributions directly to the doors of low-income senior citizens who need it most.

Each month, we deliver bags of food to about 840 seniors at low-income housing complexes throughout Jacksonville. We work with service coordinators at each building to identify the residents who are most in need. We rely on volunteers to run food drives for needed items and help pack the bags each month. If you are interested in volunteering to run a food drive and/or help pack bags, email us.

  • LSS Community Food Pantry at our location at 4615 Philips Highway is open to our clients and members of the community five days a week. The entrance is on the east side of the building, most easily accessed from Hudnall Road. Individuals can receive food once every month and must be Duval County residents. The pantry serves about 2,000 individuals each month.

Pantry hours:

Monday, Wednesday & Friday | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday | 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Nourishment Network director Heather Vaughan at hvaughan@lssjax.org.

“No matter how many extra shifts my husband worked, we just still couldn’t cover our expenses for our three children. That’s when we turned to the Nourishment Network program. The food we received took a major pressure off our shoulders and allowed me to put more energy into finding a job to help our family get out of this situation. We are so thankful that the Nourishment Network was there to provide us with one in our greatest time of need.”

Brenda Espinet, former Nourishment Network client