Pictured from left to right: Grand Exhaulted Ruler Doug Norman, Ed James, Barbara Sprague, and Brian Estus.

Special thank you to the West Citrus Elks Lodge #2693 in Homosassa.  They donated more than 800 lbs. of food to help feed those in need throughout our community. Our CEO/Executive Director Barbara Sprague was on hand to accept the donation. We are so grateful for your efforts and generosity!

The Community Food Bank (CFB) has responded to a rapidly increasing need for food assistance that has more than doubled since the onset of the pandemic. We served approximately 30,000 individuals per month in 2019. That number has grown to more than 70,000.

We’ve recently qualified for a low-interest loan to acquire the Hunger Relief Complex located on W. Cardinal Street in Homosassa to help expand our efforts and reach. We are issuing a matching donation challenge to help offset the loan and be able to again operate debt-free. The Black Diamond Foundation will match up to $50,000 in donations.

Every Dollar You Donate Will Be Matched!

The CFB now operates from two warehouse structures for the purposes of receiving, sorting, packing, and delivering donated and low-cost food to the more than 60 food pantries, shelters, ministries, and senior centers the agency serves throughout Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties.

Thank you for your continued support to End Hunger and Nourish Hope throughout our community.

Community Food Bank (CFB) Acquires Hunger Relief Complex

We Care Food Pantry Sells Property to CFB for Expansion

The Community Food Bank (CFB) is thrilled to announce the acquisition of the Hunger Relief Complex located on W. Cardinal Street in Homosassa.  We Care Food Pantry and the CFB came to an agreement which now allows the CFB to fully own the property that includes the warehouse they have been leasing and a second warehouse that was previously home to the We Care Food Pantry.

The CFB was already in the market to find a property that would allow them to expand when the We Care opportunity presented itself. The CFB’s rapidly growing operation –

which served approximately 30,000 individuals / month in 2019 – now provides food to more than 70,000 individuals throughout Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties each month. 

“The CFB continues to grow by leaps and bounds every year and we were already out of space,” says Barbara Sprague, Executive Director of the CFB. “We Care Food Pantry served the community and while we are saddened to see it close, all of those involved can take comfort in knowing that the space they occupied for so many years will continue to be used to provide food assistance to thousands of individuals and families throughout the area.”

Steve Ponticos, President of the CFB board of directors, echoes this sentiment and praises Diane Toto, founder of We Care, for spearheading the efforts to develop a “hometown” food bank nearly a decade ago. 

“Diane’s vision will continue to thrive and make a difference in the lives of people all across Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties,” says Ponticos. “The CFB has been providing the resources, support, and food to 50+ local agencies who ensure no one goes hungry. Now, the extra warehouse space will allow us to further expand those efforts, keeping in line with Diane’s original vision.”

The new warehouse space comes with added expenses that the CFB is working to offset. Would you like to play a role in the fight against hunger? If so, we welcome your donation. Or, contact us to volunteer your time to help end hunger and nourish hope.

Suncoast Credit Union Donation Propels Community Food Bank’s Mission

This Toyota 3000 Propane Forklift is among the new equipment purchased by the Community Food Bank thanks to a $20,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union.

New Equipment Helps Facilitate Feeding Programs for School-Aged Children

The Community Food Bank (CFB) received a $20,000 donation from Suncoast Credit Union for the purpose of providing equipment to help the agency continue supporting local backpack and food programs for school-aged children. The CFB utilized the grant funds to purchase a Toyota 3000 Propane Forklift and a Raymond 8210 Pallet Truck.

“This equipment plays an integral role in helping us fulfill our mission to end hunger and nourish hope,” explains Barbara Sprague, Executive Director of the CFB. “Backpack and other feeding programs have experienced significant growth over the years, so this additional support equipment is crucial to the efficient sourcing and delivery of foods.”

The CFB is actively working with agencies such as Citrus County Blessings, People Helping People, and the Citrus County School District to help children in need receive nourishing meals in school, over the weekend, and during school breaks. According to Sprague, the feeding programs the CFB supports serve more than 2,300 children. This is projected to grow to more than 2,500 in the upcoming months.

“When we first began supporting feeding programs for school-aged children, they each served a few hundred students,” says Sprague. “This number continues to increase as more parents – many of whom are working adults – find themselves in need of food assistance.”

“We salute Suncoast Credit Union for helping us to be able to keep up with the demand,” says Steve Ponticos, President of the CFB board of directors. “Hunger is a real issue, and it is especially prevalent in Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties. We provide assistance to more than 70,000 people each month, something we simply could not do without the support of businesses such as Suncoast Credit Union.”

 About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the 10th largest in the United States based on membership, and the 10th largest in the United States based on its $14.9 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 75 full-service branches and serves more than one million members in 40 counties across Florida. As a community credit union, anyone who lives, works, attends school, or worships in Suncoast Credit Union’s service area is eligible for membership. In 2021, Suncoast Credit Union’s field of membership was expanded to include public K-12 teachers, college educators, and educational support staff from all of Florida’s 67 counties. Suncoast is passionate about community support. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $32 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education, and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit suncoastcreditunion.com or follow us on social media: FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter.

 

Bloomin’ 4 Good

Each Purchase of a $12.99 Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquet Benefits the CFB During the Month of March

Brighten someone’s day with a bouquet of flowers while giving back to the community. The Community Food Bank (CFB) has been selected by local Winn-Dixie store leadership as the benefiting non-profit in the Winn-Dixie Bloomin’ 4 Good Program for the month of March! 

The Winn-Dixie Bloomin’ 4 Good Program is an easy way for shoppers to give back as part of the regular shopping routine. Every $12.99 Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquet with the red circle sticker sold supports a local non-profit. The CFB was selected as the March beneficiary by local store leadership at the Winn-Dixie located at 333 Highland Boulevard, Inverness, FL. The CFB will receive a $1 donation for every $12.99 Bloomin’ 4 Good Bouquet purchased at this Winn-Dixie location during the month of March.

“Flowers can make someone’s day, brighten up a room or spread a smile,” says Barbara Sprague, Executive Director of the CFB. “Now they can give back, too. We are thrilled to be chosen to benefit from this unique and impactful Winn-Dixie Bloomin’ 4 Good Program, as the demand for food assistance is higher than ever this year.”

For more information about the Winn-Dixie Bloomin’ 4 Good Program, please visit seg.bloomin4good.com.

 

Special Thanks to Our Scouts

Scouts BSA Troop 443B and BSA Cub Scout Pack 43 collected 2950 pounds of non-perishable foods to assist those in need in our community. The food was distributed to the local food pantries, ministries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other agencies we serve. Thank you so much for all your hard work and support to make a difference!

Community Food Bank (CFB) volunteers Karen Seymour and Debbie Blackie are excited about the agency receiving a $2500 donation from the Kiwanis Club of Inverness. The demand for food assistance continues to steadily rise. These funds will be used to help the 50+ agencies served by the CFB ensure those in need don’t go hungry and can enjoy a wholesome holiday meal.

Suncoast Credit Union Partners With Community Food Bank To Fight Hunger

$20,000 Donation Provides Equipment For Food Programs

(Homosassa, FL) – The Community Food Bank (CFB) received a $20,000 donation from Suncoast Credit Union to provide equipment to help the CFB continue facilitating local backpack initiatives and support food programs for all school-aged children.

“Many of our local schools report at least 50% of their students are on either free or reduced lunch,” says Barbara Sprague, executive director of the CFB. “The generous $20,000 grant from Suncoast Credit Union will help us purchase and maintain the equipment needed to ensure agencies are able to deliver services to school-aged children struggling with hunger throughout our local community.”

The CFB is actively working with agencies such as Citrus County Blessings, People Helping People, and the Citrus County School District to help children in need receive nourishing meals in school, over the weekend, and during school breaks.

Christina Reed, executive director of Citrus County Blessings, says her agency relies heavily on warehouse space and equipment provided by the CFB.

“We could use an entire warehouse just for the food we need for our programs,” explains Reed. “The CFB warehouse is where our monthly orders come in and where we bring our volunteers to build each pallet of food for our pantries. When the CFB has the proper equipment to execute these tasks, it makes our visits there much more efficient and better equips us to prep food for distribution to our sites.”

“Suncoast Credit Union has made numerous monetary contributions to the CFB over the years, making a significant impact in the local fight against hunger,” says Steve Ponticos, President of the CFB board of directors. “We applaud their continued efforts to help us fulfil our mission to promote awareness, inspire involvement, and end hunger in Citrus, Hernando, and Sumter counties.

The CFB is looking for more Hunger Heroes. Please visit feed352.org for information on how to make a donation or volunteer your time to help end hunger and nourish hope.

About Community Food Bank
The Community Food Bank (CFB) serves more than 70,000 individuals each month by acquiring and distributing nutritious food to more than 50 pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Founded in 2013, the organization has provided more than 21 million meals to individuals and households struggling to pay for basic needs. The CFB fulfills its mission thanks to the generous support of private donors, corporate sponsors including: Black Diamond Foundation, Inc., Fairman Foundation, Accessibility Services, Inc., Walmart Foundation, Publix Supermarket Charities, U.S. Family Foundation, Inc., Crystal Motor Car Co. & Employees, Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation, Inc., Foley & Lardner LLP and Keith Taylor Law Group, PA. The CFB is a partner of Feeding Tampa Bay. For more information, follow the CFB on Facebook or visit feed352.org.

 About Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state of Florida, the 10th largest in the United States based on membership, and the 10th largest in the United States based on its $14.3 billion in assets. Chartered in 1934 as Hillsborough County Teachers Credit Union, Suncoast Credit Union currently operates 75 full-service branches and serves more than 985,000 members in 40 counties across Florida. As a community credit union, anyone who lives, works, attends school, or worships in Suncoast Credit Union’s service area is eligible for membership. In 2021, Suncoast Credit Union’s field of membership was expanded to include public K-12 teachers, college educators, and educational support staff from all of Florida’s 67 counties. Suncoast is passionate about community support. Since its founding in 1990, the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation has raised and donated more than $32 million to organizations and initiatives that support the health, education, and emotional well-being of children in the communities that the credit union serves. For more information, visit
suncoastcreditunion.com or follow us on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. 

 

Hunger Heroes: Homosassa Lions Club
Homosassa Lions Club members Dan and Cheryl Fox presented a donation of $1000 to Community Food Bank (CFB) executive director Barbara Sprague. The funds will be used to assist with the four million pounds of food relief the agency supplies annually to Citrus County residents in need.

Thank you for being a Hunger Hero and helping the CFB End Hunger and Nourish Hope throughout our area!