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


A Student’s Battle With Cancer Inspires Him To Give Back

After five cycles of chemotherapy and 13 surgeries for Stage 1 lymphoma, Francisco Lourenco hand-wrote a nine-page book on his cancer experiences for other cancer patients at UF Health.

A Hawthorne man has created a camp to provide a retreat for veterans to commune with nature and each other.

Camp Freedom Offers Local Veterans Relaxation, Community

Soldiers Freedom Outdoors is a non-profit organization that works with Bradford County veterans and their families. Through Camp Freedom, veterans and families can engage in outdoor activities and find relaxation and community.

Gainesville Church of God member Kristen Crisp moves a larger pumpkin into the wagon to flip. The pumpkins have to be flipped every other day so they don't rot, something Crisp said she wasn't aware of until associate pastor Ron Sanderson told her today was the day to flip them.

Gainesville Church To Donate Pumpkin Proceeds To Feeding Centers

Gainesville House of God plans to donate 100 percent of its proceeds from its annual pumpkin patch to feeding centers locally and in Guatemala.

Florida Gun Supply To Hold Anti-Muslim Rally In Ocala

Florida Gun Supply has scheduled an anti-Muslim rally for Saturday at the Masjid Darul-Islam Center near Ocala. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office will be on scene.

The guy in the picture is Jim Williams, who wrote the guidebook to Florida mussels. He’s probably counting these species after a survey in this photo. There is text at the bottom with more info about Florida species. – Tierra Curry

Freshwater Mussel May Be Placed Under Endangered Species Act

Freshwater mussel, the Suwannee Moccasinshell, became a top priority Monday following the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to propose that the species be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

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
Underwriting Payments