The empty shelves at Second Harvest Food Bank will look less barren after Winn-Dixie donates a truckload of food marking the official launch of the Jaguars 14th Annual Food Drive today from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm at the Winn-Dixie store located on Baymeadows and SR 9A . Families are encouraged to attend the Fall Festival event where Jaguars players and members of The ROAR will be available to sign autographs and pose for photographs.
The Jaguars and Winn-Dixie are calling upon First Coast residents to donate nonperishable items during the next four weeks to help restock Second Harvest's food supply in preparation for the upcoming holidays. There are several ways to get involved in relieving hunger in the First Coast community:
• Follow Winn-Dixie's lead of donating 32,000 pounds of food and contribute to Second Harvest at the kickoff event.
• Donate nonperishable items at any of the 44 Winn-Dixie stores on the First Coast from Oct. 21 through Nov. 17.
• Bring nonperishable items and cash donations when the Jaguars host the Minnesota Vikings on Nov. 23. All donations will be accepted at the gates prior to the game. Donate 5 or more cans at the game and receive a Jaguars giveaway
Last year, Winn-Dixie and the Jaguars helped collect nearly 200,000 pounds of food for Second Harvest during the Annual Food Drive. Collections at Winn-Dixie stores will last until Nov. 17. Jaguars fans attending the Nov. 23 game against the Minnesota Vikings are encouraged to bring canned goods to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, where the items will be collected at all four gates and both club entrances. Fans can also contribute money at the game. The Food Bank can generate up to $53.00 of food for every dollar donated.
Year after year, Winn-Dixie continues to support the Jaguars Annual Food Drive, and the grocer's donation of 32,000 pounds this year will not disappoint. On hand to accept the contribution at today's event will be Macky Weaver, Executive Director of Corporate Sponsorships with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and R. Wayne Rieley, Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of North Florida.
"To put into perspective exactly how much food 32,000 pounds really is, we can provide 24,000 meals with this donation," said Rieley. "We greatly appreciate Winn-Dixie's contribution and hope it inspires others to participate as well."
"The Jaguars continue their fight to end hunger on the First Coast by hosting this annual food drive," said Weaver. "Working together is one of the best ways to help end hunger on the First Coast."
"Those in need are all around us, and it is especially important to reach out during the holidays, when organizations like Second Harvest Food Bank need the most support," said Dan Portnoy, Winn-Dixie's Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer. "We look forward to this annual event and urge our customers to do their part by donating at any of our First Coast Winn-Dixie stores."
Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc., is one of the nation's largest food retailers. Founded in 1925, the Company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. The Company currently operates 521 retail grocery locations, including more than 400 in-store pharmacies, in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. For more information, please visit www.winn-dixie.com
About Second Harvest
Second Harvest Food Bank of North Florida is the oldest and largest program of Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida. LSS was founded in 1979 by area Lutherans and business leaders
and continues to be led by LCMS and ELCA congregations today. The agency currently operates five programs: Second Harvest Food Bank, a member of America's Second Harvest food network; Refugee and Immigration Services, which resettles 90 percent of all refugees coming to Jacksonville through Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) and Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM); International Adoption, a member of Lutheran Adoption Network, a national collaboration of 30 Lutheran social ministry organizations that place thousands of children in caring adoptive homes, regardless of faith background, every year; AIDS Care and Education Program; and Representative Payee Services. LSS also operates The Sharing Place Thrift Shop, 4615 Philips Highway, Tues. – Sat. Call 904-448-5995 for more information about any of these programs and services.