Our community faces two nutrition related-problems. First, is the high rate of overweight and obesity within Escambia and Santa Rosa. The second problem is the issue of hunger and access to enough food for a healthy life. This second problem, which is known as food insecurity, is a problem associated with poverty and living in areas without a full-service grocery store.

Eat Well is a call to action to our community to:

Eating nutritious food in the right amount is an essential part of reducing obesity, but is also critically important to maintaining health in general. Sadly, healthy meals are out of reach for many in our community either because of cost or lack of access to a grocery store. The poor, seniors, and those who live in rural areas are particularly at risk for eating a poor quality diet.


If we are to reduce hunger and improve access to healthy food, our community must tackle the following:

  •   Increase the capacity of food systems (such as food pantries) serving the hungry,
  • Improve the quality (nutritional value) of food distributed to the hungry, and
  • Make it easier for low income and vulnerable populations to obtain fruits, vegetables and other healthy food.



+ Smart steps you can do to live healthier

  • Volunteer at a local food pantry, food bank or soup kitchen
  • Donate to a food drive; be sure the food you donate meets nutritional guidelines
  • Share the bounty of your garden or fruit trees with a food pantry, soup kitchen or homeless shelter
  • Donate money to a food pantry, food bank or soup kitchen
  • Write a letter of support for federal, state and local efforts to reduce hunger.

+ Employers can support healthy behaviors during the 1/3 of our life we spend at work

  • Ask for volunteers to work at a food pantry or food bank; give employees flex-time for volunteer hours
  • Host a food drive at your worksite; ask employees to donate only food that meets nutritional guidelines
  • Some lower wage employees may need food assistance; put up a poster with information on where to go for help or offer assistance through an EAP
  • If you are hosting a catered event, identify beforehand an organization to donate the leftover food
  • Make an annual cash donation to a food pantry, food bank or soup kitchen
  • If you have a worksite garden, consider donating some of the produce.

+ Faith communities can help congregants achieve better physical as well as spiritual health

  • Recruit volunteers from congregation to volunteer a few hours a month at a food bank or food pantry
  • Host a food drive at your worksite; ask parishioners to donate only food that meets nutritional guidelines
  • Sponsor a back-pack program for children at a low-income school
  • Start a community garden with congregants sharing in planting, tending, & harvesting produce
  • If your organization operates a food pantry, embrace the new nutritional standards
  • Partner with DCF to host a sign-up event for SNAP benefits
    Start a CROP Hunger Walk in our community

+ Employers can support healthy behaviors during the 1/3 of our life we spend at work

  • Develop a mobile farmer’s market to bring fruits and vegetables into low income food deserts
  • Help low income families sign up and use WIC or SNAP benefits for healthy fruits and vegetables
  • Institute nutritional guidelines for food donated to and distributed by local pantries
  • Hold an Eat Well Summit on food security and access
  • Encourage the expansion of community gardens



Manna Food Pantries – 850-434-3157

  • Provides emergency food assistance at locations throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa

2-1-1 United Way

  • Dial 211 from any phone, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day
  • Provides information and referral to a wide range of services including food assistance

Feeding the Gulf Coast – 850-626-1332

  • Supplies food to member food pantries and soup kitchens for distribution to the hungry

Extension Services, Family Nutrition Program 

  •  Kid-friendly recipes, nutrition information, tips for saving at the grocery store