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Monday, December 11, 2023

12th annual ‘Bring the Harvest Home’ holiday food drive underway in Marion County

Marion County is encouraging residents and businesses to help those in need this holiday season by taking part in the 12th annual “Bring the Harvest Home” holiday food drive.

The collection effort, which has been spearheaded by Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant since its inception in 2011, is currently underway at multiple locations throughout the county.

The event allows for members of the local community to help those in need during the holiday season by donating the following items:

  • 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 will benefit Interfaith Emergency Services, the Salvation Army, and Brother’s Keeper.

Donations are currently being accepted at multiple drop-off locations throughout Marion County, including public libraries, city and county fire stations, Marion County Sheriff’s Office district offices, Tax Collector’s offices, recycling centers, Supervisor of Elections, Belleview City Hall, and Dunnellon City Hall.

The effort to collect canned food and toiletry donations will culminate on Friday, December 1, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Downtown Square in Ocala. During that event, Interfaith, the Salvation Army, and Brother’s Keeper will gather the donated items to share with those in need.

Bring the Harvest Home 2022 donations on table photo courtesy of Marion County
The annual “Bring the Harvest Home” holiday food drive culminates at the Downtown Square in Ocala (Photo: Marion County)

Last year’s “Bring the Harvest Home” food drive was deemed a huge success by Marion County after a total of 20,700 pounds of food donations and $17,000 in monetary donations were collected.

Bring the Harvest Home 2022 donated food Photo courtesy of Marion County
Over 20,000 pounds of non-perishable food items were collected over the course of the 2022 “Bring the Harvest Home” food drive (Photo: Marion County)

“Let’s surpass last year’s record of 20,000 pounds of food donated to help those in need,” said Bryant.

For more information on the holiday food drive, including addresses for the drop-off locations, visit Marion County’s “Bring the Harvest Home” website.