Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund Gives $20,000 Grant to Blessings First Coast

Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund Gives $20,000 Grant to Blessings First Coast

The mission of the Blessings in a Backpack First Coast Chapter is made achievable through the countless donations and gifts our organization receives each day. In August, we were honored to be named the recipient of a $20,000 gift from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

This donation allowed us to provide 167 First Coast children with weekend meals for an entire school year! Tens of thousands of children across Northeast Florida rely on school for their only nutritious meals during the week. These students—plus the nearly 5,000 children who receive Blessings in a Backpack every Friday—can now count on healthy, delicious meals over the weekend.

“The children served through this award attend four Blessings partner schools,” said Susan W. Evans, chapter director for First Coast Blessings. “[The kids] were identified last school year by their school nurse or guidance counselor as being malnourished and/or suffering from chronic food insecurity.” 

This award “could not have come at a more critical time,” Evans continued. “While we continue to increase the number of meals we provide each school year, there are still approximately 90,000 students across Northeast Florida who qualify for our program. And our wait list continues to grow.”

The consequences of childhood hunger are much more than a growling stomach. Poor nutrition can weaken the immune system, increase hospitalization, shorter attention spans, and lower academic achievement. Unfortunately, these situations have only grown worse as students continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to make sure a weekend at home means getting the same nutritious meals provided by federal programs during the week.

“Thanks to this generous award, these children can count on having something healthy and delicious to eat every single weekend throughout this new school year,” Evans said. “It is both powerful and opportune, and we could not be more grateful.”

This support from the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund—First Coast Blessings’ first such gift from the Fund—makes its goals more achievable and improves the lives of children in need across our community.

You can help provide healthy food and a secure nutritional safety net for First Coast children by getting involved. Much like the Delores Barr Weaver Legacy Fund, your help today can lead to a better tomorrow.