"Bring the Harvest Home" Benefits Food Banks
Workers at several food pantries across North Central Florida have told us that their shelves are almost empty.
The demand of food is higher now because of the reduction in food stamp benefits.
Now Marion cCounty food banks are hoping to pack their pantries with the help of a month long food drive.
About two weeks ago we visited the Interfaith food pantry in Ocala.
The shelves were practicallly bare and donations were at a record low. So low interfaith closed their doors one Friday afternoon.
"To have to tell them I am sorry we can't help you today, was very painful," said Thomas Curtis who is the Interfaith Food Pantry Warehouse Manager.
But for the past several days donations have been pouring in.
"We had a pretty good outpour from the community. Of course we are still playing catch up because we were so low to begin with," said Curtis.
Curtis said several churches and organizations donated food. As well as other businesses which have never donated in the past.
Even though the shelves are being re-stocked, Curtis said they expect more people will need food because of the food stamp cuts.
"It will probably take another month or so before we really realize the impact of that, but we know it will bring more clients here since they are not able to get the food stamps they normally get," said Curtis.
With more residents needing to put food on the table, pantries are depending on the this years food drive called "Bring the Harvest Home."
"For the month of November, we kicked it off today, through December 6, 2013 we are going to be collecting food at all of our different government agencies," said Chair Kathy Bryant.
Chair Bryant said all the agencies and groups participating will be dropping off the donations on December 6, 2013 during the holiday food drive.
"There is still a great need out there. This is our community taking care of our community," said Chair Bryant.
The food drive will benefit three pantries including Interfaith, Brother's Keeper and the Salvation Army.
"This is a community that is interested in giving service so I know it will be successful," said Maj. George Patterson with the Salvation Army.
The link has a list of drop off locations across Marion County:
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