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FEED GNV Pilot Program a Win-Win for Gainesville Restaurants and Vulnerable Residents

Press release from City of Gainesville

FEED GNV, a pilot program launched by the City of Gainesville in partnership with the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, has provided more than 1,600 meals to vulnerable residents since its launch on April 13. Currently, 35 city restaurants participate in the program, generating about $15,000 in revenue for the industry. 

Through FEED GNV, the City purchases daily grab-and-go meals from participating restaurants, supporting local businesses and their employees. 

“FEED GNV assists our most vulnerable neighbors meet a basic human need while simultaneously supporting our local businesses,” said Gainesville City Manager Lee Feldman. 

The meals are distributed at GRACE Marketplace, a one-stop resource center for those in need of food and shelter. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, GRACE Marketplace has experienced a one-third increase in the number of neighbors seeking assistance. 

“Taking care of people in crisis is what GRACE does best. We’re thrilled to work with the City on this program to make sure the safety net we need right now is available to everyone,” said Jon DeCarmine, executive director of GRACE Marketplace. 

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Both GRACE Marketplace and restaurant team members work to coordinate the delivery service of meals distributed at GRACE.

“Not surprisingly, our restaurants have really stepped up in the effort to help our most vulnerable neighbors through this crisis,” said Eric Godet, president/CEO of the Greater Gainesville Chamber. “The program has run very smoothly, and our businesses really appreciate the support during this difficult time.”

Restaurants located within the Gainesville city limits are invited to participate in FEED GNV and can complete a short survey to indicate their interest and capacity.

“Our team is committed to having a mission of helping those in need. Food is both our livelihood and our passion” said Bert Gill, owner of Mildred’s and The New Deal Café. “We are always grateful for the opportunity to participate in serving our community. FEED GNV is part of Mildred’s broader mission of supplying meals through our local charitable foundations. This and other projects have fostered partnerships that have brought citizens and small businesses together in new and positive ways,” he said.

The City evaluates FEED GNV on a weekly basis, with plans to continue and expand the program throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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