Barnabas Center
Press Releease
CONTACT: Wanda Lanier, CEO
904-261-7000 x101

December 15, 2017 9:00 a.m.

The holiday cooking, baking and eating season starts in mid-November and runs through the first of the new year. That’s when food becomes the focus of many activities, including family gatherings, office parties and even Sunday football games. As the eating season comes and goes each year, many people don’t think twice about their access to food. But thankfully, in Nassau County, many do.

Did you know 11,230 people are food insecure in Nassau County? That’s equal to 1 of 6 adults and 1 of 4 children in the community who are hungry or do not know where their next meal is coming from. This segment of the county’s population includes working families, children, people with disabilities and the elderly – your neighbors.

The greatest increase in need is among working families who try to live on an income that can’t stretch from paycheck to paycheck. In addition, the reduction in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) benefits in 2013 negatively impacted these individuals and families. In short, more Nassau County people are in need of food.

Barnabas Center helps feed more than 120 people every day in Nassau County through its Food Pantry. Barnabas operates the largest food pantry in east Nassau County, providing emergency food to individuals and families experiencing hunger, uncertain food supplies and challenges with basic dietary needs.

But the Barnabas Food Pantry would not exist without the ongoing, generous support of the community. Gratefully, during the holiday eating season and throughout the year, many people do stop and think about how they can help those who may be hungry.

During this year’s holiday season, more than 33 local food drives were held and donations were delivered to the Barnabas Food Bank by friends and neighbors across the county.

“These food drives exemplify the type of community in which we live,” said Wanda Lanier, Barnabas CEO. “There is no question our neighbors care about and for one another. Businesses, churches and faith-based groups, civic and cultural groups, residential associations, and schools work in partnership with Barnabas to ensure there is hope for people who sometimes struggle to provide something as basic as food for themselves and their families.”

Many food drives have become annual giving events that are beloved by donors.

“One of our long-time holiday traditions at Amelia Community Theatre is collecting food for the Barnabas Food Pantry during our December show performances,” said Linda McClane, ACT managing director. “The December play is always a family-friendly production with a message of hope and caring. So, it’s the perfect time to think about donating to the food pantry. The ACT family is grateful for the opportunity to support neighbors in need in our community.”

Lanier summarized last year’s annual report statistics for the Barnabas Food Pantry: More than 382,400 lbs. of healthy food were provided to over 5,000 people in need, equaling 318,670 meals.

That’s a lot of food and a lot of need. But, thankfully, the Nassau County community continues to care about others, especially during the holiday eating season.

About the Barnabas Center Food Pantry

The Barnabas Food Pantry entrance, located on the west side of 1303 Jasmine Street in Fernandina Beach, is open Mondays 1-4 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Fridays 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The Callahan Food Pantry, located at 45103 Green Street, is open by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nassau County residents must provide proof of residency and income to determine eligibility. For more information, call Barnabas at 904-261-7000.
Through partnerships, including Feeding Northeast Florida and Feeding America, the Barnabas Food Program reaches even more people and maximizes numerous resources. To learn more about Barnabas Center and its services in Nassau County, please visit

Barnabas Center’s mission is to provide assistance to individuals and families in crisis throughout Nassau County. Barnabas Center’s vision is to be the primary nonprofit resource in Nassau County, providing assistance to connect individuals and families to services that will help them overcome crisis and achieve self-sufficiency.

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