Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney wants to make sure people in his district, and other parts of Northeast Florida, have food to eat when they’re hungry.
That’s why he’s introducing legislation to provide funding to Farm Share so the local nonprofit can stay in the area for at least another year.
“Farm Share serves the whole city of Jacksonville as well as the surrounding counties,” Gaffney says.
He says when he got word that Farm Share was considering moving the operation west of Tallahassee because they weren’t going to be able to afford the rent in Jacksonville, he reached out to the City to come up with a solution.
Farm Share had been allowed to operate out of a Jacksonville warehouse rent free, but the owner of the warehouse sold the building to someone else who wasn’t OK with the agreement. The current lease expires Sept. 30, and Gaffney says Farm Share needs money to continue the operation elsewhere.
The proposed legislation calls for providing $247,389 in emergency funding to help Farm Share with the transition to the new Jacksonville warehouse.
Gaffney says if the legislation is approved, it will buy 12 more months of working with Farm Share to come up with a long-term solution.
“Even with the food that they are giving, we still have pockets of this community that don’t have food,” Gaffney says.
Food deserts are an issue in multiple districts, Gaffney says, so the fact that Farm Share is distributing produce, canned goods, proteins, milk and non-perishable food to people who need it is an important thing to keep going.
Farm Share gives the food directly to agencies and individuals in the community. Gaffney says in the last fiscal year Farm Share distributed 9 million pounds of food within Duval County to over 150 agencies.
Gaffney also says anyone in his district or elsewhere in Jacksonville who is living in a food desert can reach out to his office directly to ask for assistance by calling (904) 255-5207.