Lutheran Social Services awarded United Way economic mobility grant to help relieve hunger in Northeast Florida

Lutheran Social Services (LSS) was recently awarded the Economic Mobility Grant for Basic Needs from United Way of Northeast Florida, that provides funding for food pantries, mobile food distribution, and meals for students in need.

CEO and President of LSS, Bill Brim, states that LSS “provides struggling families with the services and support they need to overcome hardship and regain self-sufficiency.”

The grant awarded to LSS is part of United Way’s $9 million investment to improve economic mobility in Northeast Florida. LSS is one of eight programs in the food access category selected for the grant.

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Distributed over a period of two years, the funds will support 37 community-based programs, including LSS hunger relief initiatives, that address critical challenges including food access. These programs will collectively serve more than 210,000 residents of Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and northern St. Johns counties, a United Way press release about the grant stated.

LSS has been an impact partner of United Way for more than 40 years through grant funding, volunteer service hours and more.

According to United Way, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in homelessness, financial hardships, food insecurities, and mental health concerns. And with rising food costs taking a financial toll on some Jacksonville families, the need for food pantries is growing.

LSS has seen first-hand how residents in our community are struggling to meet the basic requirements needed to live. For the week of September 26th, LSS served an average of 133 households each pantry day, an increase from the prior week’s average of 93 households per day.

In addition to LSS’ hunger relief program, LSS provides HIV care and education, representative payee services, refugee services, and career and financial coaching. LSS boasts its connections in the community and partners across the country, including CAN Community Health, We Care Jax, Jax Care Connect, and Vision is Priceless.

Get Involved: Volunteer at LSS

This article was written by Kelli Urbanek; to contact the author, email her at kelli.urbanek@lssjax.org.

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