Jacksonville Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida



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Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida

For almost four decades, LSS has fed the hungry, cared for those who have been displaced or received a difficult diagnosis, and offered hope to the hopeless in Northeast Florida.

LSS consists of four programs, all with the same goal: to provide opportunities to people in need that will help them to achieve self-sufficiency. Last year, these served over 12,000 people:

  • Nourishment Network is comprised of a community food pantry and two initiatives targeting specific at-risk populations: Backpack Program for children on free or reduced lunch and Serving Our Seniors for older adults living in poverty. Nourishment Network served over 9,000 people and distributed over 750,000 pounds of food last year.
  • AIDS Care & Education (ACE) provides wraparound services for people with HIV or AIDS including: housing, counseling, medical case management and medication. ACE served over 1,500 people last year. ACE was recently recognized by the City of Jacksonville for having the highest percentage of clients obtaining viral suppression in Jacksonville, and LSS recently opened an HIV clinic onsite that offers physician and dental care, lab work and a pharmacy.
  • Money Minders manages benefits and other income for 600 people who are unable to do so independently. The only service of its kind in Northeast Florida, Money Minders pays rent, utilities and other bills for clients to ensure they stay in secure and high quality housing, and then loads the remainder of clients' money on debit cards.
  • Refugee Services has helped those who have fled persecution in their home countries to resettle in Jacksonville and acclimate to the U.S. since 1980. LSS' Refugee Services program is the most robust in the region and includes employment assistance, education services, and intensive case management for those with special needs. Last year, Refugee Services staff resettled 158 new arrivals and found employment for 691 refugees. Fifty students participated in the youth program.

In 1979, a consortium of Lutheran congregations and Jacksonville business and civic leaders came together to form LSS in response to community needs. Initially, the agency focused on hunger through Nourishment Network, a small community food pantry. Over time, it grew into one of the largest food banks in the region, known for many years as Second Harvest North Florida. Subsequently, LSS responded to evolving community needs by adding additional programs. Today, in addition to hunger-relief, LSS includes AIDS Care and Education (ACE) for people living with HIV/AIDS; Money Minders, which provides daily money management for people unable to do so independently; and Refugee Services, which helps those who have fled their home countries due to persecution resettle in Jacksonville and acclimate to the U.S. In 2014, Nourishment Network changed focus, moving from a regional food bank to a portfolio of targeted programs addressing food instability and nutrition among underserved populations, including schoolchildren on free or reduced lunch, seniors living in poverty and high-risk expectant mothers.

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Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida

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