Summer Feeding Begins May 30th

Citrus County Blessings and the Community Food Bank of Citrus County are partnering with the City of Inverness, Citrus County Parks and Recreation and the Citrus County Libraries to expand the summer children’s feeding program that began in 2017.

The goal of the program is to provide adequate nutrition to children when they are unable to attend the free/reduced lunch program that operates in public schools.  Beginning the week of May 27th through August 11th, this program will operate in six locations throughout Citrus County that are easily accessible to the children enrolled.

“Because many families we serve do not have access to reliable transportation, providing this service in the neighborhoods where our students live is critical,” said Grace Hengesbach, Blessings’ Executive Director. “In 2017 we ran this program in one location as a pilot. In partnership with the Community Food Bank, we anticipated serving 40 participants and 129 enrolled. It was obvious we needed to expand to reach the families and children experiencing hardships beyond the City of Inverness.”

Participants who are currently enrolled in the Blessings school year program are invited to enroll in Feed the Kids, a once a week program that will operate a farmer’s market style open air food pantry. The children and their families are encouraged to attend to help close the gap in for meals during the summer months. Each family will be able to select prescribed quantities of non-perishable groceries in addition to fresh produce per child. The program will be open one evening in each location on different days of the week from the week of May 27th through August 11th and we expect to serve 600 children each week.

Joh Autry, Executive Director of the Community Food Bank said, “It’s an honor to partner with Citrus County Blessings this summer to help end food insecurity for hungry children in Citrus County.  Feed the Kids lines up perfectly with our mission to end hunger and nourish hope.”

Only children currently participating in the Blessings program are eligible to enroll in Feed the Kids. The families will receive an enrollment form in the coming months.

Funds for the program were provided by The United Way of Citrus County and private donors. Citrus County Libraries and the City of Inverness offered sites to operate the program free of charge.

This is a great opportunity for high school students in need of volunteer hours for academic and scholarship purposes. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Blessings by calling 352-341-7707, or by emailing Christina@citruscountyblessings.org.

“Because many families we serve do not have access to reliable transportation, providing this service in the neighborhoods where our students live is critical,”