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Fla. Food Banks See Demand Spike As Federal Unemployment Benefits Expire

A Feeding Northeast FLorida team is pictured distributing meals in front of Bellwether in Downtown Jacksonville.

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the state, tens of thousands of Florida residents face the end of temporary unemployment benefits they had been receiving from the federal government.

Food banks in Florida are reporting a rapidly spiking demand as unemployment insurance ends.

According to the state’s leading food bank group, more than 3 million unemployed residents around the state are at risk of missing regular meals.

“Our food banks and Feeding NE Florida specifically are operating at 129% above blue sky capacity. So they’re definitely leaning into this situation,” said Feeding Florida Executive Director Robin Safley.

Safley said while food donations are always welcome, a monetary donation will help feed even more people.

To hear the entire interview with Safley, listen to Monday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross. The show also encores at 8 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9.

Donations to Feeding Florida can be made here.

Melissa Ross can be reached at, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.