Center for Nutrition and Food Security

In the United States, 1 in 6 Americans or 15.8 percent lack access to adequate amounts of healthy foods, including 21.4 percent of U.S. children. The problem is even greater in Florida where 17 percent of adults and 26.7 percent of children are food insecure. Duval County has one of the highest rates of food insecurity for the state at 20.1 percent of all adults. The consequences of food insecurity are profound. In children that don’t have access to enough healthy food, research has shown more difficulty learning, behavioral issues, depression and anxiety, and higher rates of obesity. Adults that don’t have access to enough healthy foods have more mental health issues, obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.


The Center for Nutrition and Food Security (CNFS) serves as a gateway to the University for non-profit Agencies, government programs, professional organizations, and industry personnel by exploring solutions to food insecurity and malnutrition.


Our Mission:

Bring students, faculty and community organizations together in a coordinated and sustained effort that finds solutions and eliminates barriers in order to improve food access and nutritional health in the local and global community.


Our Goals:

The goals of the CNFS are:

  1. provide transformational learning opportunities for students on food security and health;
  2. foster internal and external linkages among faculty and professionals engaged in addressing food access, food security, and nutritional health;
  3. assist in developing applied teaching and research on food security and nutritional health;
  4. acquire support for food access and nutritional health education and research;
  5. and serve as a liaison to external organizations on food security and nutritional health.

Key Initiatives:

  1. Community-based Hunger Network. The Northeast Florida Hunger Network brings people and organizations involved in food and nutrition together to find solutions that eliminate barriers, increase access and expand the amount of nutritious food available in the communities of Northeast Florida.
  2. Food recovery. Food Fighters, a student-driven hunger relief club, recovers food that would be wasted and packages into nutritious meals that are delivered to non-profit organizations in the community that support food insecure individuals.
  3. HIV nutrition. The HIV Nutrition & Food Program delivers nutrition education, nutrition counseling, food and meals to HIV+ clients at the Duval County HIV centers.
  4. Food Insecurity Programming and Evaluation.
    • Humana Bold Goals Diabetes Initiative – Program will screen and provide nutrition programming in communities in Northeast Florida at high risk for diabetes.
    • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Hunger Free Communities Project - Program will assess communities in Jacksonville for nutrition and food insecurity.
  5. Global Nutrition Feeding Strategies and Malnutrition Project. This program will provide nutrition and feeding strategies to infants suffering from the severe congenital malformations caused by the Zika virus.