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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Citrus County Harvest, Inc.

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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 850,000 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

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

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!

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citrus County Harvest, running the Blessings program, is a local program serving the children of Citrus County, Florida. Their mission is to erase weekend hunger for school children, so they will be prepared to learn during the week. They have built an amazing program serving 16 elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school in our rural and low income county. Each week an army of volunteers puts together bags of food to feed a child breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as snacks and beverages, for the weekend. These bags are delivered to the schools on Friday and the children pick them up on their way to their school buses. This is a strictly local program with no fees to national organizers. Blessings was started single handedly by an immensely dedicated woman, and has been built into a county-wide effort. The numbers grow every year and the program is in great need of all donations.

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.

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.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am currently a board member and a volunteer "bag packer". I have been doing this for several years and am truly blessed to be a part of this program. It is heart breaking to know that children are homeless and/or going without food from the time they leave school on Friday until Monday morning. The thank you notes that the children send in is all the reward that is needed in helping to provide food for the weekend. Please keep the donations coming.

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Citrus County Harvest assist in feeding children on the weekends that are on the free or reduced lunch program in their schools through our Citrus County Blessings program. I was invited to be on the board as their Treasurer 2 years ago. It is an awesome program and I am happy and blessed to be a part of the program.