WUFT News

Marion County’s Two Largest Food Banks Have Very Little Food

By on October 28th, 2013

With the holidays approaching, both the Interfaith Emergency Services Center and the Marion County Salvation Army are issuing a cry for help.

The two largest food banks in Marion County are asking locals for both food and monetary donations as their shelves are going bare.

Both food banks said they are at their lowest stockpile levels yet this year. George Patterson, commander of the Salvation Army in Marion County, said their food bank has experienced much adversity this past year.

“We’ve experienced difficulties in this past year both in the amount of food and amount of cash that has come in,” Patterson said. “We’ve experienced about a $60,000 difference in cash donations this past year.”

Alice Hodgkins, Salvation Army’s social services director, added that the demand at the food bank is now larger than the supply.

“We’re even finding that some of the donors are now our clients,” said Hodgkins. “People who used to donate food are now coming to us asking for help because they’ve lost their jobs.”

The Salvation Army stressed the importance of donations during this time of need.

“Times like this when the need does go out to the public, we find an individual who would just give us $10 or $25,” Hodgkins said. “It adds up — it really adds up — and is more welcome at this time.”

At the Interfaith Emergency Services Center, CEO Karla Grimsley said she’s extremely blessed with the type of reaction the food bank has received since news started spreading about the shortage.

“I have had numerous phone calls from individuals. A lot of people are already going to their pantries and saying, ‘I can do without this. I’ve got surplus, let me share,’ which is so encouraging,” Grimsley said. “It’s actually common for Marion County. We have the most generous and sweetest people here.”

Interfaith was in a similar situation in 2011. Many locals came together for Bring the Harvest Home, a community food drive that raised 80,000 pounds of food in just three weeks. Grimsley hopes for a similar type of outcome this year.

“Some might say, ‘Well I work in a small office building with only five people. It doesn’t matter,'” Grimsley said. “If five people all bring in a few cans and that gets matched up with another small office where five more bring in a few cans, it really adds up.”

People who wish to help may contact the Marion County Salvation Army at 352-629-2004 or Interfaith Emergency Services at 352-629-8868.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Larneice Williams brings her 6-year-old Chihuahua, Mr. King, to the St. Francis Pet Care  every other Tuesday to get his routinely checkup and food. Mr. King is considered a regular at the clinic.

Clinic Offers Health Care For Pets Every Tuesday

The Saint Francis House Pet Care Clinic provides free non-emergency health care for pets of economically troubled owners four times a month. In the colder months, they give out cold weather clothes and blankets because homeless shelters do not allow animals unless they are service animals.


Rozie Smith, a volunteer with Food4Kids Backpack program works together with fellow volunteer, Brantley Mason, to put together a canned food box at the organization’s warehouse as the holiday season approaches

Local Organization Fills Christmas Spirit “One Belly At A Time”

Food4Kids Backpack Program of North Florida Inc., is furthering its year-round fight against food insecurity for youth by providing food during the winter holidays to students who mainly rely on meals during school hours.


The drop box for letters to Santa stands at the left entrance of the Gainesville Post Office. Mail handlers check the drop box for submissions four to five times a day.

Operation Santa Seeks Benefactors

Gainesville Post Office participates in the Santa Operation program for the first time. The program started receiving letters from across the country starting Dec. 2, and it will match the benefactors until Monday.


Alachua County migrant children receive gifts from the Angel Tree charity project last Christmas. 

Photo courtesy of Alachua County Multi-County Migrant Education program.

Angel Tree Shines Light On Migrant Families

The Angel Tree Charity Project helps make sure struggling migrant families have a normal Christmas. Hundreds of families are helped with the charity project.


Newnans Lake, shown here near 7400 E. University Ave., in Gainesville, Fla.

Alachua County Receives Florida’s 36th State Forest

The 1,000-plus acres of diverse land west of Newnans Lake in Gainesville will provide bicycle and hiking trails for the public in spring 2015.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments