Fund Again Supports Safety Net

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (September 26, 2011) — The Jessie Ball duPont Fund and two other Jacksonville-based philanthropies have come together for the third year to provide critical support to those community-based nonprofits serving individuals and families impacted by the ongoing recession.

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund has committed $600,000 to re-open the Community Safety Net Fund at The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, and that gift has been matched by a $300,000 gift from the Lucy Gooding Charitable Foundation Trust. The Community Foundation is actively soliciting additional gifts from other donors.

In the past two years, more than 30 individuals, corporations and philanthropic organizations, along with the City of Jacksonville, have contributed in excess of $2.75 million to support the major community organizations providing food, shelter and emergency assistance to those in need in Jacksonville.

“Thousands of our neighbors need help securing housing, food and providing for their families,” said Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. “The lingering recession’s impact not only on individuals, but on state and local governments, means fewer and fewer resources are available to help those in need. We applaud those nonprofits that are working daily to meet these challenges and are honored to support their efforts.”

The Community Safety Net Fund was created in late 2008, when the Jessie Ball duPont Fund invested $1 million to establish the fund and The Community Foundation, the City of Jacksonville and other donors invested another $600,000 to alleviate the soaring demand for food and shelter due to the recession. In spring 2010, it became apparent that the impact of the recession had not abated and the Jessie Ball duPont Fund invested $500,000 to reopen the fund. The Community Foundation raised an additional $566,499 from other donors, including the City of Jacksonville.

The weak economic recovery continues to undermine individuals’ efforts to find jobs and secure financial footing for their families. Unemployment in the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area stood at 9.7% in May, well above the national rate of 9.1%. The number of food stamp recipients in Duval County has increased 106% since 2008.

“While we are distressed that so many of our fellow citizens continue to struggle to make ends meet, we are gratified by the generosity of Jacksonville’s donors,” said Nina Waters, president of The Community Foundation.

Donors can contribute to the Community Safety Net Fund by visiting or by contacting Kathleen Shaw, program director, at The Community Foundation — 904-356-4483 or

The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $281 million and has awarded $303 million in grants since 1977.

The Community Foundation in Jacksonville works to stimulate philanthropy in order to build a better community. The oldest community foundation in Florida, it has assets of $154 million.


Sherry Magill, president

Jessie Ball duPont Fund

904-353-0890 /

Mary Kress Littlepage, KBT & Associates

904-384-8496 /