Feeding Northeast Florida; Author Frank Reteguiz; Murals Vandalized; Crescendo Amelia

Dec 17, 2020

 


 

As the pandemic blazes on, more than 50 million people in America are facing food insecurity - including thousands here in Northeast Florida.

In the nine months since the pandemic arrived stateside, lines outside food pantries have become a common sight around the country.

 

According to the hunger-relief organization Feeding America, more than 35 million people experienced food insecurity in 2019. This year, that number is expected to exceed 50 million. With expiration dates looming on multiple federal aid programs, many pantries fear they will run out of food, despite donations from grocery stores.

 

Sarah Dobson, Director of Development with Feeding Northeast Florida, joined us on the program with more.

 

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Author Frank Reteguiz

 

Local author Frank Reteguiz, is spending the pandemic reinventing himself. When Tesla laid him off earlier this year, Reteguiz decided to take advantage of the extra time on his hands to build up his writing career.

 

After receiving more than a hundred rejection letters from major publishers, Reteguiz came up with an idea to grow his brand: buying booze shots at local bars for his readers. Since the pandemic hit, that stopped, but his writing career is starting to take off.

 

Reteguiz spoke with us about his creative marketing idea.

 

Vandalism Investigated As Hate Crime

 

Earlier this year, Jacksonville artists, including Kandice and Christopher Clark of Black Mural Map, painted a mural after weeks of nationwide demonstrations sparked by Black people’s deaths across the country. The street art, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, was vandalized last week on Blanding Boulevard near San Juan Avenue. The defacement is being investigated as a hate crime. A Go Fund Me account has been created to raise funds to recreate the art.

 

They joined us to share their thoughts.

 

Crescendo Amelia Big Band

 

Socially distanced big band music is coming to Amelia Island’s Amelia Musical Playhouse this weekend as “How the Big Band Stole Christmas” takes the stage. The outdoor event is a full theatre production featuring Crescendo Amelia Big Band, an 18-piece big band with singers, dancers, and actors.

 

Dennis Negrin with Crescendo Amelia, spoke with us about what patrons can expect.

 

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.