A community partnership has enhanced food supplies at Dawn Center Domestic & Sexual Violence Services; thanks to a Citrus-based agency that aims to deliver hope and nourishment to many more people on the Nature Coast. "Things are going well with food right now, thanks for our amazing relationship with the Community Food Bank (located in Citrus County)," said Shannon Sokolowski, MNM, Executive Director of Dawn Center. "They serve both Citrus and Hernando."
Barbara Sprague, Executive Director of Community Food Bank, said that the organization serves 56 help agencies in Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties. Including seven based in Hernando, where they hope to form new partnerships.
"The Mission of the Community Food Bank (CFB) is to acquire and distribute nutritious, quality food to pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters throughout our area," read a mission statement found on their website. "Together with our volunteers and donors, we will promote public awareness, inspire community involvement, and strive to end hunger and nourish hope for those in need of our support."
The CFB helps feed more than 60,000 people in need each month and has distributed more than 14 million pounds of food since 2013, providing more than 21 million meals to their community. Partnering with Feeding Tampa Bay for many of its efforts, Community Food Bank feels the intensifying need of its member agencies. "Throughout the phases of COVID, our agencies have seen up to a 400 percent increase in demand for services," said Sprague. "Now most of our agencies are at double the usual demand.”
"We're seeing people who have never needed help before," she continued. "And because of the pandemic, some of our agencies are having issues with their supply chains." Through its extensive network of agencies, volunteers, and ongoing operations, Community Food Bank is determined to stay the course of its original mission--and throughout the Nature Coast.
"People in this area need to be aware that the food is there for them," said Sprague. "We want to get people fed."
Many opportunities exist to help Community Food Bank help others. Currently, in the Hernando area, the charity is in search of new agencies and help groups with which to partner. And the food bank offers a continuing array of volunteer and donation opportunities for those who want to help. With this in mind, we are issuing a Sunshine Summons for those who wish to help expand Community Food Bank's reach in Hernando County. And those who wish to submit a photo or written account of their service can submit it for inclusion in a future edition of Show Us Your Sunshine!
Individuals, families, high school students, youth groups, church members, and business or service organizations are welcome to volunteer at Community Food Bank, 5259 W Cardinal Street, Building B in Homosassa. All volunteers must be at least 14 years of age unless accompanied by an adult and prior arrangements are made. A Liability and Waiver Release
Form must be filled out prior to volunteering; call (352) 628-3663 to schedule the best time for volunteering. A Liability and Waiver form may also be filled out at the Food Bank prior to volunteering.
Individuals, families, and group organizations are encouraged to consider making food donations, which will be distributed among member agencies. Organizations who collect dry goods or canned food products for donation can drop them off at the Community Food Bank, or contact the agency to make arrangements for pick up.
Donate to Community Food Bank on their website! And send your good news to [email protected] Show Us Your Sunshine!