As the holidays approach, Hernando County charities and nonprofit agencies face a dual challenge; Meeting the everyday dietary needs of their clients, while also supplying special foods for holiday feasts. Now they’re calling upon the community to help them provide both. Aside from collecting foods for Thanksgiving feast, Jericho Road Ministries is in need of donations for basic everyday staples. “Our greatest need right now is canned goods. The food bank we normally receive donations from is extremely low. This means we are relying on our community now more than ever in this time of need to help hungry families in Hernando County,” said Amanda McCann, VP of Development & Recruitment for Jericho Road Ministries, Inc. She stated that the agency, a non-profit organization who offers housing, food, and hope in Jesus Christ, is seeking donations of food and money. Donations are accepted at the Jericho Road food barn, 1165 Howell Avenue, Brooksville. Support their mission at www.jericho-road.net/donate.
Volunteer Way, which has been helping feed families in Citrus, Pasco, and Hernando for more than 25 years, has made a pledge to feed 3,000 families this Thanksgiving. At the same time, CEO Nicole Cestaro-Jackson says that the agency also needs donations of canned goods, cookie and brownie mix, corn muffin mix, and other staples. Drop off donations at 8061 Congress St., Port Richey. Or you could host a Virtual Food Drive for Volunteer Way; visit https://thevolunteerway.org/how-to-get-involved/virtual-food-drive/ for more information.
Metropolitan Ministries has launched its Inspire Hope holiday campaign with a Thanksgiving Impact Fund. “As local families continue to face more hardship than they have ever known, we need your help providing Thanksgiving meals,” reads the Metropolitan website. Donations of turkeys are being accepted; Many, in fact. “We need turkeys and we need a lot of them,” said Tim Marks, president and CEO of Metropolitan Ministries, in a campaign video.
Metropolitan expects to help a total of 33,000 Tampa Bay families in need for Thanksgiving and Christmas through their Holiday Tent initiative. “This year will be another big challenge as many families are still struggling,” read a related news release. “The economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately impacting under-resourced, high-poverty neighborhoods. To ensure that much-needed help and support reach these communities, Metropolitan Ministries has implemented Inspire Hope, a year-round targeted approach to offer Metropolitan Ministries’ core services to residents of high-need communities in collaboration with local neighborhood leaders. This need is magnified during the holiday season. Metropolitan has expanded its reach into six counties (Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, as well as Manatee and Hernando) through 60 collaborative partnerships and satellite locations.”
For the third year in a row, Metro’s main holiday partner is Thaddeus Bullard, aka WWE global ambassador Titus O’Neil, and his Bullard Family Foundation. Holiday assistance registration is available now through an online form and in-person during designated hours. Visit the Metropolitan Ministries website to apply for help and go to the Holiday Central section of the website for information on conducting food or toy drives, virtual drives, fundraising events, and volunteer opportunities. Donation drop-off locations and hours of operation are listed as well. A total of 21,466 volunteers are needed for the holiday season across all locations.
“In addition to our main hub in Tampa, we are leveraging partners and volunteers who live and work in the satellite targeted areas to attend their local Metro community site and bring hope to their neighbors. The size of the main Holiday Tent has been expanded to 42,000 square feet, an increase of 10,000 square feet, to accommodate the larger need (this is nearly the size of a football field),” the news release read. Almost as big as the hearts of those who help feed the hungry during the holidays.
To spread your own positive community news, send your good news to community reporter Megan Hussey at the Hernando Sun, [email protected] Show Us Your Sunshine!