Groups Band to Maintain a Safety Net for Needy; 2 Organizations Help Program Stay on Its Feet in Tough Times

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan

Two Jacksonville charitable organizations have injected new life into a program that helps agencies give families the means to survive the recession.

But even after $900,000 was donated to the Community Safety Net Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, more donations are being sought to continue its work of the past three years.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund committed $600,000 to the Safety Net Fund, and the Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust added the rest. Combined, it will provide critical support to 14 core community-based nonprofit agencies in the safety net program that gives food, shelter and other necessities to many of the city's poor.

Continuing economic problems and higher unemployment has eroded the agency's funding, so more was needed to help the poor, said duPont Fund president Sherry Magill.

"Honestly, the people who lead this city need to understand the situation locally is not getting better," Magill said. "At best it is staying the same as it has over the past 24 months. We believe that we have an obligation and we hope others will join us in supporting the backbone of our system that provides food that feeds people who have nowhere else to go."

The $900,000 has been an immense help to those core agencies they serve, said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation. …