Frequently Asked Questions
Food Bank Summary
How Does a Food Bank work?
Food is donated or sold in bulk to the
Food Bank from different sources such as supermarkets, Feeding Tampa Bay, food
drives, farms, gardens, wholesalers, food brokers, and individuals. These food items
are then collected, sorted, and distributed to 43+ approved agencies who
distribute to individuals, families, seniors, working poor, homeless, and
anyone else in need.
Who does the Food Bank
The Community Food Bank serves 43 agencies throughout Citrus County and 3 agencies in
Hernando County. The member agencies in turn distribute food to families, individuals, children, and seniors
suffering from food insecurity. In both
Citrus County and Hernando County, the number of individuals affected is
approximately 16 to 17% of the total population in each county.
Where does the Food Bank get its food?
- Major Supermarkets such as Publix, Walmart, Winn Dixie, and
- Other types of businesses such as CVS, etc.
- Feeding Tampa Bay
- County-wide Food Drives, ie. Post Office Food Drives
- Farms & gardens
- Wholesalers & Food Brokers
- Donations from various service groups and individuals
Does the Food Bank
provide other product in addition to canned food?
Yes, the Community Food
Bank distributes nutritious quality product such as fresh produce, dairy, eggs,
bread, bakery, frozen meats as well as assorted groceries (packaged and
canned), miscellaneous personal items, paper products, pet food, and baby items (food, diapers, wipes, etc).
What else does the Food
Bank provide for besides food?
The Food Bank also distributes non-food
items such as personal hygiene items, paper products, baby diapers, medical
supplies, etc. and occasionally pet food
How does the Food Bank
help during a natural disaster?
The Community Food Bank
partners with the Citrus County Emergency Operations Center, Salvation Army,
and others to plan and prepare for potential disasters. Since the Community Food Bank is affiliated
with Feeding Tampa Bay, we have the ability to call on them for any
additional assistance we might need here in Citrus County. The Community Food Bank would be a local
resource for food, water, and other needed supplies.
Does the Food Bank
dispose of any food?
Sometimes the product the
Community Food Bank receives through donations is deemed unfit for human
consumption because of damaged product and/or packaging, potential
contamination, out of date perishables, etc. In those cases which are infrequent, the
Community Food Bank is able to dispose of this food to local pig farmers and local
Food Bank Network
How many people does the Food Bank serve?
The Community Food Bank
and its approved agencies provide food to help individuals and families
suffering from food insecurity. In
Citrus County, that number is approximately 23,000 individuals (17% of the
population) which includes approximately 6,600 children under the age of 18
(about 30% of the children in Citrus County). 67% of students in Citrus County schools are on free or reduced lunches. In the first three years of operations, the Community Food Bank distributed approximately 4.5 million pounds of food to those in need, which equates to more than 3.7 million meals.
How does the food get to the people in need?
The Community Food Bank
distributes the food to the various non-profit agencies such as food pantries,
shelters, and soup kitchens who then distribute food to individuals and
families. Each of the food pantries and
soup kitchens have a regular scheduled day and time each week or each month
when they distribute the food or when they provide meals to clients. The days and times vary for each agency. You can contact one of the agencies that is
nearest to where you live to find out more about their distribution times or
you can contact the Community Food Bank and we will get you the information you
need. The shelters provide housing,
meals, and other services for their clients to help them get back on their
feet. The Community Food Bank also
supports the Citrus County Blessings weekend backpack program for children
suffering from food insecurity which includes a bag of food to take home on the
weekend during the school year. Find an agency near you.
What is an “Agency”?
An “Agency” is a
qualified and approved non-profit organization that partners with The Community
Food Bank to distribute food to those in need. These agencies function under one or more of
the following classifications:
- A food pantry that provides groceries to individuals and
families in need.
- A shelter where food and lodging is provided to individual men
and women to reside while they work to get back on their feet and at some point
are able to live independently on their own again.
- A soup kitchen where hot meals are provided to individuals and
families once a week or more oftentimes.
How does a charity become an agency?
normally submit an application and supporting data to qualify for
membership. At this time, the Community
Food Bank is not accepting new applications. We are however recommending that any agency wishing to support this
mission team up with an existing agency near you. The advantages of doing this are significant
with respect to consolidating for pantry storage, sharing refrigeration
requirements, and the sharing of needed volunteer resources to be able to
operate an agency in a professional and reliable manner. If you are interested in this approach, please
contact the Community Food Bank and we will connect you with another
agency in your area.
If I need assistance, how can I get it?
families in need of food assistance should contact an agency near where they
reside to determine if they qualify for assistance, how to register, and understand
the level of assistance available to them. Please refer to our agency list or contact us at the Community Food Bank and we will
assist you in finding an agency to contact.
Food Bank Finances
Is my donation tax deductible?
The Community Food Bank
is a registered 501c(3) organization established in 2012. All monetary donations to the Community Food
Bank are fully tax deductible.
How much of my donation goes to feeding people?
90 cents of every
dollar donated is spent on Program Services and Food Distribution.
Should I donate money or food?
Both monetary and food
donations are genuinely appreciated. Monetary tax-deductible donations to the
Community Food Bank are preferred because of our ability to leverage the value
of that donation. For example, a $100
donation provides the equivalent of 800
meals to help those in need. Local Food
drives are also a great way to bring awareness of hunger within our community. When organizing a local food drive in your
neighborhood or community, we encourage you to partner with one or more of our
member agencies located in your neighborhood.
How do I volunteer?
The Community Food Bank
has a wide range of tasks and activities where we need volunteers to help
us. Please contact us to find out what
volunteer activities exist, what is involved, and to inform us what day(s) and
times work best for you. Please bring in a completed Volunteer Waiver & Liability
or complete one when you come in.
Can I bring a group to volunteer?
Groups are welcome;
please contact the Community Food Bank to schedule a date and time.
Can children volunteer at the Food Bank? What is the age limit?
Children ages 14-17 can
volunteer at the Community Food Bank with adult supervision.
The Community Food Bank
works with local community service organizations who specialize in coordinating
court-ordered community service volunteers. We welcome these individuals who are in need of community service
hours. We only accept non-violent
When organizing a local
food drive in your neighborhood or community, we encourage you to partner with
one or more of our member agencies located in your neighborhood. If you wish to establish a county-wide food
drive, please Contact Us and we will help you organize
What kind of food and other products are needed?
The Community Food Bank
and all of our approved agencies are in need of nutritious, non-perishable
foods such as canned entrees, vegetables, fruit, pasta sauce, or soups;
packaged products like cereals, pasta, etc.; peanut butter and jelly; paper
products; disposable diapers; personal hygiene products; and more.
Can the Food Bank pick up my collection?
Donations can be dropped
off at our location. If you are unable to drop off your donation,
please contact us to make arrangements for pick up.
How do I handle cash and credit card donations?
The Community Food Bank accepts donations at any time. Donations
will be accepted at our Physical Location at
5259 W Cardinal Street,
Building B, Homosassa, FL 34446. You will receive an acknowledgement and
receipt for all donations. You can also donate by credit card securely by clicking the link below.
Facts About Hunger
Child Hunger in America
The problem of childhood hunger is not simply a moral issue. Child hunger hampers a young person’s ability to learn and become more likely to suffer from poverty as an adult. Scientific evidence suggests that hungry children are less likely to become productive citizens.
- Nearly 14 million children are estimated to be served by Feeding America, over 3 million of which are ages 5 and under. (I)
- According to the USDA, over 16 million children lived in food insecure (low food security and very low food security) households in 2010.
- More than 20% of the child population in 37 states and D. C. lived in food insecure households in 2010. The District of Columbia (30.7%), Oregon and Arizona (both 29.0%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food. (III)
- In 2010, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida. (III)
- In 2010, the top five states with the lowest rate of food insecure children under 18 are North Dakota, New Hampshire, Virginia, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. (III)
- Proper nutrition is vital to the growth and development of children. 62 percent of client households with children under the age of 18 reported participating in the National School Lunch Program, but only 14 percent reported having a child participate in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out. (I)
- 54 % of client households with children under the age of 3 participated in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). (I)
- 32 % of pantries, 42 percent of kitchens, and 18 percent of shelters in the Feeding America network reported “many more children in the summer” being served by their programs. (I)
- In 2010, 16.4 million or approximately 22 percent of children in the U. S. lived in poverty. (IV)
- Research indicates that hungry children do more poorly in school and have lower academic achievement because they are not well prepared for school and cannot concentrate. (V)
- In fiscal year 2009, 48 percent of all SNAP participants were children. (VI)
- During the 2010 federal fiscal year, 20.6 million low-income children received free or reduced – price meals through the National School Lunch Program. Unfortunately, just 2.3 million of these same income-eligible children participated in the Summer Food Service Program that same year. (VII)
Rhoda Cohen, J., Mabi, F., Potter, Z, Zhoa, Mathematica Policy Research, Feeding America. Hunger in America 2010. February 2010.
Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, Mark, M. Andrews, S. Carlson. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service. Household Food Security in the United States in 2010.
Feeding America. Gundersen, C., Waxman, E., Del Vecchio, T., Satoh, A., & Lopez-Betanzos, A. Map the Meal Gap 2012; Child Food Insecurity. (2012).
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, B. D. Proctor, C. H. Lee. U. S. Census Bureau, Income, Poverty, and
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010. September 2011.
Cook, John. Feeding America. Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on our Nation. Executive Summary. May 2009.
Leftin, Joshua, Gothro, A., Eslami, E., USDA, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation. Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2009. October 2010.
USDA, FNS. National School Lunch Program. Participation and Lunches Served. Data preliminary as of September 2011.
One of the most common misconceptions is the assumption that if someone is hungry, that means they do not have a job and are living on the streets. What most people do not understand is that anyone can experience hunger. It is a silent epidemic that affects 49 million Americans. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2010, 21 million people lived in working-poor families. This translates into nearly 9.9 percent of all American families living below 100 percent of poverty have at least one family member working (I). In fact, 36 percent of client households served by Feeding America network have one or more adults working (II).
- Female-headed households were more than twice as likely to be among the working poor as male-headed households in 2008.
- Among families with at least one member working at least half a year, families with children were 4 times more likely than families without children to live in poverty in 2008. (III)
- According to a survey on hunger and homelessness conducted by the United States Conference of Mayors, 88.5% of cities participating in the survey cited unemployment as one of three major causes of hunger in their city. (IV)
- Thirty-nine percent of all adults served by Feeding America have completed high school or equivalent diploma with no further education beyond high school. (II)
- 34 percent of all households served by Feeding America have had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care. (II)
- Sixty-five percent of working families that received SNAP were single-parent families (V)
Rhoda Cohen, J. Mabli, F. Potter, Z, Zhao. Hunger in America 2010. Feeding America. February 2010.
U. S. Department of Labor, U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A Profile of the Working Poor. 2008
The U. S. Conference of Mayors, 2008. Hunger and Homelessness Survey. December 2010.
Urban Institute, Shelia R. Zedlewski, E. Mon. Many Low-income Working Families Turn to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Help. August 2009.
As a nation, we have a special responsibility to vulnerable populations such as the elderly. Older Americans have built the economy and national infrastructure from which we now benefit. It is morally reprehensible that the people that built this country should suffer hunger in a land of plenty, which they helped to create. Food insecurity among this vulnerable population is especially troublesome because they have unique nutritional needs and may require special diets for medical conditions. Additionally, older Americans have a continuum of need based on their mobility and ability to prepare meals. As a result, different nutrition interventions are required to reach seniors throughout this continuum of need.
The following are some of the key findings from Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2010 regarding the elderly in our country (I).
- Nearly 3 million elderly persons are served by Feeding America each year. 18.6 percent of client households have at least one member who is age 65 or over, and 52 percent of these households are food insecure. (An estimated 1.2 million households)
- Among all clients served by Feeding America, 8 percent were seniors age 65 or over while 14.2 percent of adult clients interviewed at emergency feeding programs were 65 or older.
- Among all client households with at least one senior, 10.5 percent use senior brown bag programs, 16.5 attend senior nutrition sites (such as senior centers that serve lunch) and 6.6 percent receive home-delivered meals or meals-on-wheels.
- 30 percent of client households with seniors indicated that they have had to choose between food and medical care and 35 percent had to choose between food and paying for their utilities/AC/heat.
- In 2010, 7.9 percent of households with seniors (2.3 million households) were food insecure. (II)
- In 2010, 9.0 percent of the elderly lived below the poverty line. (3.5 million older Americans) (III)
- In 2009, nearly 9 million people over the age of 50 lived in food insecure households. (IV)
- In 2009, nearly 4 million people over the age of 60 lived in food insecure households. (IV)
- In 2010, under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, seniors make up 12.7% of people in poverty as compared with 7.6% under the official measure. (V)
- In 2010, under the Supplementary Poverty Measure, medical out of pocket expenses (MOOP) nearly double the poverty rate among seniors. (8.6% without MOOP, 15.9% with) (V)
- The number of food insecure seniors is projected to increase by 50% when the youngest of the Baby Boom Generation reaches age 60 in 2025. (VI)
- Seniors are more likely to be food insecure if they live in a southern state, are younger, live with a grandchild, are African American, or are Hispanic. (VI)
- Elderly households are much less likely to receive help through the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) than non-elderly households, even when expected benefits are roughly the same. (VI)
- Seniors require greater consideration towards their health and medical needs that can become compromised when there is not enough food to eat. A study which examined the health and nutritional status of seniors found that food insecure seniors had significantly lower intakes of vital nutrients in their diets when compared to their food secure counterparts. In addition, food insecure seniors were 2.33 times more likely to report fair/poor health status and had higher nutritional risk. (VII)
- For seniors, protecting oneself from food insecurity and hunger is more difficult than for the general population. For example, a study that focused on the experience of food insecurity among the elderly population found that food insecure seniors sometimes had enough money to purchase food but did not have the resources to access or prepare food due to lack of transportation, functional limitations, or health problems. (VIII)
Rhonda Cohen, J. Mabi, F. Potter, Z. Zhao. Mathematica Policy Research. Feeding America. Hunger in America 2010. February 2010.
Coleman-Jensen, A, Nord, M., Andrews, M.& Carlson, S. United States Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service. Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. (ERR-49) September 2011.
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, B. D. Proctor, J. Smith. U.S. Census Bureau. Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States 2010. September 2011.
Zilak, J. & Gundersen, C. (2011, August). Food Insecurity Among Older Adults. A report submitted to AARP Foundation.
The Research Supplementary Poverty Measure: 2010. (2011) U.S. Census Bureau.
Zilak, J. & Gundersen, C. (2009, September). Senior hunger in the United States: Differences across states and rural and urban areas. University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research Special Reports. Retrieved October 7, 2010. http://www.ukcpr.org/Publications/seniorhungerfollowup.pdf
. United States Department of Agriculture/Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation. Elderly Participation and the Minimum Benefit. November 2002.
Lee, J.S., Frongilo, Jr. EA. Nutrition and health consequences are associated with food insecurity among U. S. elderly persons. J. Nutr. 131: 1503-1509. 2001.
Wolfe, WS, Frongilo, EA, Valois, P. Understanding the experience of food insecurity by elders suggests ways to improve its measurement. J. Nutr. 133: 2762-2769. 2003.