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100,000 pounds of food. 1,000 families. Farm Share provides meals for thousands of Gadsden County residents at recent event

This past Friday, Farm Share, a nonprofit whose stated aim is that “no one will go hungry and food will not go to waste,” delivered more than 100,000 pounds of frozen proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, assorted bread, drinks, canned goods and non-perishable food to families living in Quincy, Florida and surrounding areas – those hardest hit by Hurricane Michael.

Supported by some 30 partnering agencies, the massive food distribution event is held twice annually. Partners include the Department of Children and Families, Wellcare, Comcast Cares and myriad other community based organizations and networking associates who work with these families daily to bring help, hope and services.

“Armed with pamphlets and flyers, these partnering agencies will assist Farm Share in distributing healthy food to needy families and provide resources of where additional help might be needed,” said Farm Share’s Quincy Facility Manager Dave Reynolds.

Additional partners and volunteers include: Capital Regional Medical Center, MAAD, AHEC, TMH Memory Disorder Clinic, Golden Age and Home, the American Red Cross, Workforce Development, United Methodist Church of Crawfordville, Big Bend Cares of Quincy, Disability Rights of Florida, North Florida Office of Public Guardian, Christ Anglican Church of Crawfordville and Division of Consumer Services to name a few.

Christie Spencer, CEO of new Farm Share sponsor Lighthouse Health Plan, said, “As a member of the Panhandle community, we are doing our part to help support our neighbors who are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.  As a local, Medicaid health plan, our mission is to help improve the health and well-being of our community. We hope this donation of fresh food will provide some immediate relief.”

“Farm Share is humbled by the generosity of the many volunteers and sponsors who are donating their free time to help us feed more hungry families, children, seniors and individuals in those areas hardest hit by Hurricane Michael,” said Stephen R. Shelley, Farm Share’s Chief Operating Officer.

“We appreciate the continued partnership of our local farmers and other donors who provide us with healthy and nutritious produce and other food that enable us to hold such a large scale event and to those throughout the state of Florida who continue to support us as we help those recovering from such a devastating storm a few months ago.”

Farm Share provided nearly 55 million pounds of food to over 17.5 million households during 2017; up from 2016’s efforts of 40.4 million pounds. As hunger increases with a reported 14.7% of Floridians and 20.7% of its children living below the poverty line, Florida ranked 20th in food insecure households in 2017, where those in need experienced difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of money or other resources at least once during the calendar year.  Hurricane Michael’s direct hit on these already impoverished areas has made it more important to help them recover and rebuild during this Thanksgiving season.

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Special to The Herald

Photos courtesy Farm Share