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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Citrus County Harvest, Inc.

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Food Programs

Mission: To inform, serve and facilitate the feeding of those in need through an ever-present volunteer network.

Results: Blessings Program: Between the Fall of 2009 and the end of 2016-2017 school year, more than 2,360,400 weekend meals were distributed to students in need. Harvest Program: Since 1999, more than 1 million lbs of food have been recovered and redistributed to those in need. Feed the Kids: The pilot program in the summer of 2017 provided a total of 7,740 meals and 3,900 lbs of fresh produce to 39 families comprised of 129 people.

Target demographics: school-aged children

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,650 students

Geographic areas served: Citrus County

Programs: Citrus County Blessings, Feed the Kids and Harvest.

Community Stories

27 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary Catherine C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Citrus County Harvest's mission to silence hunger is supported by countless individuals, businesses, civic organizations, churches and county & state agencies. Whether the support comes from volunteer hours, event sponsorships or donations, the common thread is the County's commitment to feeding those who are food insecure. This not for profit began organically by a handful of caring citizens and evolved to a collective army of servants that embrace the core mission of silencing hunger in Citrus County. The executive director and diverse board check egos at the door and pour their ideas and energy into operating with integrity for the sole purpose of feeding hungry children.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is an organization of extreme integrity and passion. Harvest truly operates according to practices and policies that warrant public trust. The volunteer network associated with Harvest, and the Blessings Program, is one of the most passionate and engaged group of folks I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Blessings is providing a much needed service in our community! The volunteers have a heart for this program and its great to see the relationships Blessings continues to foster with community partners.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member and volunteer with Citrus County Harvest aka Citrus County Blessings, I have frequent contact with the Executive Director and knowledge of the professionalism of the staff and volunteers, as well as the fiscal integrity of the program. There is a clear separation of duties in regard to finances, and they are always enforced. The volunteers are dedicated to erasing hunger in children on the days they are not getting free or reduced meals at school. There is a shocking number of families in our area who live below the poverty line. Blessings is dedicated to ensuring that the children in these families receive the nutrition they need.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a long time volunteer, and now board member of Citrus County Harvest, operating as Citrus County Blessings. We provide weekend meals to school children who might otherwise not get proper nutrition or meals. We are so fortunate to have been embraced by our community. We now serve all public and several private schools and academies in our primarily rural, economically challenged communities. This is a story about Hurricane Irma and dedicated guidance counselors from schools we serve. Because of the threat of Hurricane Irma, schools were closed without much notice and bags did not get packed to send to schools. Several guidance counselors who were concerned about their students not having enough food went to our pantries, packed food, and delivered them personally to the homes of children from their schools who receive our services. While the rest of Florida was going crazy fighting over bottled water and gas, these amazing counselors focused on individual children, and their families. As soon as Irma passed through, volunteers were scrambling to get extra food to children and their families. Congratulations to our network of volunteers, the local community food bank and the caring staff of Citrus County schools!

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Tanya W.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citrus County Blessings (Harvest) is a wonderful program and critical to our children here in Citrus County, Florida. I have supported this organization for several years and feel confident it is run with only the best interests of the children in mind. I have read dozens of letters from children who are grateful for the food they receive through the program. These children might not eat during the weekends and holidays without the benefits of Blessings. No child should go hungry in America, and Blessings does everything to ensure it doesn't happen in our area. Your time and money will be well-utilized by supporting this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was asked to join the board of Citrus County Harvest last year. It has been the most wonderful experience. Citrus County Harvest is doing amazing things for the youth of Citrus County. I feel blessed to give back to our community along side other wonderful members of our community and of the education system.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citrus County Harvest is an invaluable asset to our community. Without them, I fear so many more children in our county would go hungry! The volunteers work tirelessly to provide meals for school children on weekends, when they have no other support, and to raise the funds necessary to carry out this mission. The leadership in this organization is exemplary - you couldn’t ask for a more dedicated, hard working, compassionate and selfless individual than Grace Hengesbach - she truly is a blessing!

agibbs

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization feeds over 1500 school children each Friday during the school year and Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. We depend only on local donations and have just started a summer feeding program that the student and parent must come to a specific location to receive their food. I am blessed to be a part of this organization.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a proud board member of this organization who feeds hungry kids on the weekend. We have been blessed with the opportunity to now reach into every public and private school in Citrus County and are currently sending food home each Friday for over 1400 kids. Without the donations and support from our community we could not keep going. I know we have all made the statement "I'm starving, lets go eat !" BUT REALLY, HAVE YOU EVER BEEN HUNGRY? I can't imagine.

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2 Tabitha W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The passion for the kids in this program displayed by the Volunteers, the Employees, and the Board Members far exceed anything I have seen elsewhere. The hard work of over 800 volunteers, the staff, and the board is insurmountable. The community support given to this organization speaks volumes to their reputation. I am very honored to be affiliated with such greatness!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Children do not ask to be born. And, they certainly do not deserve to go hungry or worry about when they are going to eat again. Often, money is tight and there isn't enough funds to buy adequate food over the weekend. The meals provided at school are the primary source of food for a lot of children in our program. A hungry child is less likely to be able to concentrate in school and subsequently, may struggle academically. Citrus County Harvest provides food for the weekends and over the holidays.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Children are not asked to be born. And, I get emotional thinking that there are children going hungry. While my family and I have ample access to food, there are those less fortunate. My heart hurts for them. I love this organization for the proactive approach in 'breaking cycles'. We feed children (and their families) over the weekends and holidays and are working on a summer feeding program. A hungry child is less likely to be able to focus on their schoolwork and therefore may become discouraged, etc. A discouraged child may have behavioral problems and less likely to complete school or barely scrape by with lackluster grades and no desire for post-high school education. We want to give these children a fighting chance to be the best that they can possibly be.

Cregg D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citrus County Harvest has repeatedly provided nourishment to children and families in our community year after year. This organization is dedicated to defeating hunger each and every day. First as a volunteer, and then as a board member, I find it mentally and physically rewarding to help families struggling to put food on the table.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to say I have been a board member of Citrus County Harvest, Inc. since 2015. We currently fund meals for approx. 1,650 children in our local schools. The meals are provided each weekend during the school year, holidays, spring break and now a summer feeding program was added in 2017. By supporting this organization you are a part of helping to silence childhood weekend hunger and serve some of the neediest families in Citrus County.
Thank you for your support,
Patty Kirkland

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful nonprofit that I hold very close to my heart. I have seen first hand the impact it has with children and families in our county. Citrus County Harvest, Inc. is blessed with dedicated volunteers who share the same passion to help feed our young children and truly make a difference in their lives. Citrus County is forever changed for the better because of it.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of serving Citrus County Harvest children for over 4 years. I originally started as a volunteer packing bags weekly and now serve as a board member. Citrus County Harvest truly makes a difference in the lives of these children and I've seen it first hand. I am so proud to be a part of it!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was recently accepted as a new Board Member for Citrus County Harvest, Inc./Citrus County Blessings. Citrus County has several excellent non-profit organizations but the Citrus County Blessings serves such a great cause in assisting our less fortunate children in our County. Children are a true blessing and gift from God. In order to grow and learn they need the nutrition to support them and become the best they can be in life; because they are our future.
Patty Kirkland

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I just recently joined this board but already I am amazed at the hard work and dedication that goes into this wonderful program. We have so much need in our community and Citrus County is blessed to have this organization helping to silence weekend hunger for our children.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Without Citrus County Harvest, many children would be hungry over the weekend. Teachers say that the children who participate In this program are more attentive in school, get higher grades, and have improved behavior. It's a homerun!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been helping out with Citrus County Harvest for many years. When Debbie who was my banker had a vision. How can we help more people in Citrus county. The Directors all working together to find ways to feed Children on weekends that may not have food. This group is a perfect example of how a community can work together for the better of our citizens. I am proud to be apart of this group.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Can't tell you how much we enjoy working with the Blessings program which feeds children over the weekends. It takes such a little amount of time and it is such a personal reward to know we are making a huge difference in our community!! So... the Blessings turns out to be the volunteers/workers blessings!! Super people doing a fantastic, much needed service.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the founder of Citrus County Harvest, Inc. I have been with this organization since 1999. In 2009, we introduced a program that feeds hungry children on weekends. During the school week, these children participate in the federally funded meal program and receive free/reduced breakfast and lunch. Often times these children go home on weekends and do not receive another nutritionally balanced meal until they come back to school on Monday mornings. Our program is called Citrus County Blessings. We started in one public school serving 50 children. Today we are in 14 public schools in Citrus County, Florida serving 1,250 children. Through feed back from teachers, volunteers and students in our program, we have found a way to give hope to these children. They now return to school on Monday mornings ready to learn. Instead of thinking how hungry they are they can sit quietly and concentrate on what the teacher is presenting. Our Blessings program is helping to build our community one school and one student at a time.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful program that has generated a great deal of community support because of the hard work and dedication of its staff and volunteers. They are extremely responsible with the resources they receive and really try and maximize the impact of every dollar. I am very proud of what they have accomplished, and with their future goals. Thank you for your commitment to the children of our community.