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1,000 Holiday meals to be donated to greater Jacksonville families


In the spirit of the season of giving, the Jacksonville Jaguars, PEPSI, Winn-Dixie and Second Harvest North Florida are partnering to provide food over the next week for 1,000 families in time for the Christmas holiday.

The announcement of the donation was made at the downtown Jacksonville Winn-Dixie store, which included Jaguars players Zach Potter, Will Rackley, Brett Brackett and Matt Veldman, along with Taylor and Madeline from The ROAR of the Jaguars and JAXSON de Ville.

Volunteers from Second Harvest North Florida assembled the food and filled Winn-Dixie reusable bags with 1,000 holiday meals with fresh produce, including potatoes, carrots, apples and oranges, along with corn, green beans, stuffing, gravy mix, corn muffin mix, a 2 Liter bottle of PEPSI – XFACTOR beverage, and a $10 Winn-Dixie gift card to use toward a purchase of a turkey, ham or other food item.

Some of the holiday food bags were sent out directly from the downtown Winn-Dixie store, including 15 that Jaguars player Zach Potter and his wife Tyeler will be personally delivering to young adults at Touchstone Village at the Youth Crisis Center.

Jaguars President Mark Lamping noted, "Our support of Second Harvest through the Taste of the NFL at EverBank field provides thousands of meals for families throughout the year. However, it is especially important for the Jaguars to be of help to struggling families during the holiday season. We're blessed to make Jacksonville our home and it's a privilege to do our part through Second Harvest to help make the holidays a little brighter to those less fortunate in our community."

Jennifer Stenson, Region Marketing Manager of PepsiCo Beverages – North America, added, "The food distribution is an articulation of the shared values of these organizations by emphasizing the value of improved health and nutrition in the Jacksonville community. Funding was provided in-part by PepsiCo Foundation as a demonstration of PepsiCo's dedication to 'Performance with Purpose' – a commitment to deliver sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we work, live and operate."

"No societal problem is more aligned with our core business than hunger," said Winn-Dixie Senior Vice President of Marketing Mary Kellmanson. "Together we can make a difference to ensure that every family can gather together for a warm meal during the holidays. Customers can join us in our commitment to feed the community by easily donating to our Hunger Relief program at our store registers, where all proceeds benefit Second Harvest North Florida to help neighbors in need."

This is the fourth year the team has donated food to families for the Christmas holiday season.  The Jaguars Foundation coordinated with the following non-profit organizations to distribute the food: Andrew Jackson High School, Boys and Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida, The Bridge of Northeast Florida, Christ Church of Peace, Communities in Schools of Nassau County, Communities in Schools of St. John's County, Community Connections, daniel, Inc., The Exchange Club Family Center, Families of Slain Children, First Coast Community Development of Kingsland Georgia, Fresh Ministries, Heart for Children, The Independent Living Resource Center, Metro Kids Konnection, The Sanctuary on 8th Street, St. Gerard Campus, Touchstone Village at the Youth Crisis Center and The Wounded Warrior Program.

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