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Feeding Northeast Florida Announces Merger with Renewing Dignity

February 26th, 2024 · Leave a Comment

Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL) recently announced its merger with long-time partner Renewing Dignity, an organization whose mission is to eliminate “period poverty” through menstrual product distribution, education and advocacy. The organization will now be known as Renewing Dignity: A Program of Feeding Northeast Florida.

More than 260,000 individuals suffer from some level of food insecurity across the 12 counties FNEFL serves. Oftentimes, food insecurity serves as an indicator of other needs that are difficult to meet for families and individuals. In Florida, more than 785,000 women, girls, and people who menstruate struggle to access the material basic necessities they require to thrive, including period products. Nationally, two in five people struggle to purchase necessary period products –– across the First Coast, that’s where Renewing Dignity steps in.

The partnership between the two organizations began in 2019 in response to a shared concern among local non-profit agencies about the lack of menstrual products for people facing homelessness or income insecurity. FNEFL played a crucial role as a distribution partner, utilizing the organization’s expertise, bulk purchasing power and distribution channels to provide essential products to individuals and families in need. The organizations have worked together to raise funds and awareness, as well as purchase, transport and warehouse period products to be distributed through a FNEFL’s extensive network of agency partners and dedicated distributions. Moving forward, period products will be widely distributed across the 12 counties the organization serves.

“The need in our community is high –– and not just for food assistance,” said Susan King, President & CEO of Feeding Northeast Florida. “So many of our neighbors struggle to make ends meet, and often that means a choice between buying necessary medicines, paying rent and buying food. What we often forget is that these cuts can filter into other areas of need as well, and that includes period products. We are grateful for the partnership we have had with Renewing Dignity, and we are looking forward to the increased difference we can make by bringing them under the FNEFL banner, making period products a staple of our distribution events. We could not do the important work we do without partners like Renewing Dignity –– and this new chapter will take us even further to meeting the needs of our friends and neighbors in the counties we serve.”

Much of the program’s daily operations will remain unchanged through the merger. Feeding Northeast Florida, already serving as the sourcing, warehousing, and distribution partner, will take on the administrative and advocacy responsibilities formerly overseen by Renewing Dignity, including maintaining restrictions on funds raised for the program. An advisory committee, consisting of former Renewing Dignity board members, will remain actively involved in advancing the mission.

“I am honored to continue to help guide Renewing Dignity as we make the transition under the umbrella of Feeding Northeast Florida,” said Jan Healy, Founder of Renewing Dignity. “Our longstanding partnership with the leading food bank in our area instills great confidence in this next phase of the organization, and I could not be more excited to see how we can continue to grow and serve women, girls, and all who menstruate in our community.”

For more information on the merger and how FNEFL helps those in need in the 12-counties it serves, visit feedingnefl.org.

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