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Second Harvest of the Big Bend pinpoints areas with greatest need

Using zip codes to gather info
Posted at 6:41 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 18:41:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Food distribution sites have become almost a staple for anyone who needs a little help during this pandemic and where the people are coming from is being closely monitored so non-profits like Second Harvest of the Big Bend can close the gap.

Since April 8, Second Harvest has been collecting data from each of the cars visiting their distribution sites, trying to pinpoint what area has the highest need.

More than 60 percent of people in line came from three zip codes:

  • 32310 topped the list with 23 percent
  • 19 percent came from 32305
  • 17 percent was from 32304

"We were able to recognize that over half of the cars that we were serving had multiple families in them," said Monique Ellsworth, the CEO of Second Harvest of the Big Bend. "So a lot of ride-sharing."

Neighbors helping neighbors from Woodville to Fort Braden, Frenchtown and Griffin Heights, to the western side of Leon County.

"They let me pick up for my mom," said Sherry Scheiderman, a food recipient.

Scheiderman is helping to keep her family fed and pay the bills.

"Now, just trying to make sure we have rent, electricity and food," Scheiderman said. "The basics right now, and so whatever, this is going to help a lot."

"We found that over 60 percent of the cars that we were serving that self-reported said this is the first time they've ever said it in line and waited for food," said Ellsworth.

Tracking can provide a clearer picture to focus on action.

"What we're actually looking at right now is in service to the 32304 zip code," Ellsworth said.

Now that some people are back to work and the state is slowly re-opening, the needs may change but the mission of feeding remains as strong as ever.