September is Hunger Action Month; Blood donations sought in advance of Hurricane Irma
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The TaxSlayer Bowl and Dreams Come True signed 12 children to the inaugural TaxSlayer Bowl Dream Team. The children will serve as representatives and ambassadors for the TaxSlayer Bowl.
Over the 13 weeks of the college football regular season, each Dream Team member will be highlighted and take part in a customized collegiate sports experience.
The Dream Team also will become members of the TaxSlayer Bowl committee.
In advance of the 73rd annual TaxSlayer Bowl on Dec. 30, The Dream Team members will meet players and cheerleaders at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and will be honored at the game.
The Dream Team is: Preston Fowler, 16; Darian Dinkins, 13; Gage Spurlock, 7; Devon Zona, 13; Gregory Howard, 13; Carson Jacobs, 13; Braiden Crowley, 8; Jacob Lopez,10; Summer Bridges,13; Andrew Eunice, 9; Aaron Eunice, 11; and Miles Watts, 7.
For more information about the Dream Team, visit
taxslayerbowl.com or dreamscometrue.org.
September is Hunger Action Month
Feeding Northeast Florida is joining a nationwide network of food banks to mark Hunger Action Month this month
The campaign is focusing on the connection between hunger and health. It asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure.
In Northeast Florida, more than 283,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in four children who may not have enough to eat.
“Food is the most basic human need. Without it, adults can’t reach their full potential and young minds can’t learn, grow and thrive,” said Feeding Northeast Florida CEO Luke Layow.
“More than 81,000 kids in Northeast Florida will go to bed hungry tonight. And so many hardworking families just aren’t making enough money to get by.
“Feeding Northeast Florida is leading the local fight to ensure all of our neighbors in need have access to high-quality food. We must come together as a community to raise awareness for this issue and provide a hand up to those who need it most,” he said.
On Hunger Action Day Sept. 14, Feeding Northeast Florida is asking supporters to share what they couldn’t do without adequate nutrition by writing on an empty plate, “On an empty stomach I can’t ______” and filling in the blank with something they couldn’t achieve without the nutrition needed to thrive.
Photos can be posted to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @FeedingNEFL and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.
To learn more about Feeding Northeast Florida and other ways to become involved for Hunger Action Month in and around Jacksonville, visit feedingnefl.org or HungerActionMonth.org.
Blood donations sought in advance of Hurricane Irma
With all eyes on Hurricane Irma, OneBlood, the local nonprofit blood center serving Florida and the majority of the Southeast, is urging all eligible blood donors to donate before the storm potentially impacts its service area.
Hurricanes can disrupt the blood supply for several days. That scenario unfolded in Texas after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area last week.
Blood centers were unable to collect and OneBlood sent several shipments of blood to help patients until blood centers in Texas were able to resume operations.
This week, OneBlood has been called upon to assist the blood center in Puerto Rico and sent 100 units of blood to the island as it prepares for Irma’s arrival.
To ensure a ready blood supply, OneBlood is urging all eligible blood donors to give now.
While all blood types are needed, there is an increased need for O-negative and O-positive blood as well as platelet and plasma donations.
Generally healthy people age 16 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can donate.
For a list of OneBlood donor opportunities, visit oneblood.org.
First Coast No More Homeless Pets CEO headed to Houston
As relief efforts continue in response to the historic flooding in south Texas, First Coast No More Homeless Pets founder and CEO Rick DuCharme will help manage part of the animal support disaster relief network.
Best Friends Animal Society, a partner organization in Texas, is setting up a temporary animal shelter and medical facility at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds north of Houston.
DuCharme will serve as deputy incident commander where he will help coordinate the efforts of veterinarians, vet technicians and volunteers from across the U.S. as they work to help displaced and injured animals.
There are 180 dogs and cats on site, and the population is expected to swell to more than 500 displaced pets. The location is managed in partnership with the Montgomery County Animal Shelter.
DuCharme is a veteran of the animal welfare response to Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago when he played a role in St. Bernard Parish.
First Coast No More Homeless Pets plans to send additional professionals to south Texas as the need and demand for support becomes clearer.