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Saturday, February 4, 2023

‘Bring the Harvest Home’ culminates this Friday on Ocala Downtown Square

For the past several weeks, public agencies, businesses, and residents throughout Marion County have partnered to collect donations for local families in need, and those efforts will culminate on Friday, December 2 with a holiday food drive on the Ocala Downtown Square.

Residents and businesses wishing to take part in the 11th annual “Bring the Harvest Home” event can stop by the Downtown Square this Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to drop off their canned food, baby items, and toiletry donations.

Bring the Harvest Home 2021
Some of the donated items that were collected during the 2021 “Bring the Harvest Home” holiday food drive (Photo courtesy of Marion County)

Those who stop by with donations will be able to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie, courtesy of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and other elected Marion County officials.

“This holiday food drive will be one last push to help re-stock area pantries’ shelves with the food and goods that will carry our neighbors in need through the holidays,” said Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant. “We encourage everyone to bring their donations to the Square as we celebrate the spirit of the season with thoughtful giving.”

The most needed items this holiday season include:

  • Dry foods and complementary goods (rice, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, crackers, and peanut butter and jelly). Plastic containers are preferred.
  • Canned meats (corned beef, corned beef hash, ham, and tuna).
  • Canned vegetables and fruit.
  • Baby items (baby cereal, diapers, and lotion).
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and toilet paper).

All donations that are collected during this Friday’s “Bring the Harvest Home” event will be distributed to Brother’s Keeper, Interfaith Emergency Services, and The Salvation Army.

During last year’s holiday donation drive, nearly 21,000 pounds of food, baby, and toiletry items were collected, along with monetary donations that totaled nearly $160,000.

For more information on the holiday food drive, please contact the Marion County Public Relation Office at 352-438-2300 or visit Marion County’s “Bring the Harvest Home” website.