In 2012, over 350,000 pounds of food were distributed to those in need.
Back in December, the members of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise had the wonderful pleasure of getting an update of all the amazing activities happening at the Barnabas Center on Amelia Island from the center’s director and fellow Rotarian, Wanda Lanier.
While many may know that non-profit Barnabas exists to help those in need, most do not realize just how many programs and services the Barnabas Center actually provides.
The food pantry at Barnabas has been operating for 27 years and it is the largest food pantry in Nassau County. In 2012, over 350,000 pounds of food were distributed to those in need.
The “New-to-You” resale shop is considered the “face” of the Barnabas Center as it provides much needed clothing, household goods, equipment and other items to low income families, made possible by generous donations of those items from residents and others.
Wanda discussed the importance that partnerships continue to play in the success of Barnabas. The center works with Baptist Medical Center to provide a Samaritan Clinic for medical services to low income or homeless residents in Nassau County. The Clinic is open 2 times per week and is staffed entirely by volunteers of Barnabas and from Baptist Hospital.
There is also a women’s health clinic and a dental clinic available and vision and speech/hearing are being added. Shortly the center will also have a mental health counselor on site.
Barnabas partners with the Council on Aging to deliver hot or prepared meals to shut-in residents who cannot get access to the Meals On Wheels program – for $.65/meal!
Barnabas supports the IDN organization to provide meals weeknights for the homeless/hungry at the Salvation Army Hope House.
This past year the organization initiated a capital funding campaign to expand its facilities on Jasmine Street. The new 18,000 square foot building will house the administration offices, preschool, volunteer center, food pantry as well as office space for other tenants. The food pantry will feature 2 large walk-in freezers and coolers (all donated) that will enable them to increase their food storage, including fresh vegetables and dairy products (assisted by their partnership with Second Harvest) – expanding their ability to promote healthy meals at a low cost.
One other partnership includes UNF where instructors will teach cooking classes with a focus on good nutrition.
Wanda also proudly shared that the Barnabas Center has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator, an organization that rates and ranks non-profits based on their financial health as well as their accountability and transparency.
To get more information about Barnabas, you can visit their website at www.barnabasfernandina.com.
Pictured here is Barnabas Director Wanda Lanier and Rotary president Mark Dennis.