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 serve?

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?

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 when available.

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donations is deemed unfit for human consumption because of damaged product and/or packaging, potential contamination, out of date perishables, etc.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 wildlife sanctuaries.

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:

How does a charity become an agency?

Charities would 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?

Individuals and 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 Release 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.

Do you accept court-ordered community service volunteers?

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 offenders.

Food Drives

Who do I contact if I want to start a food drive?

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 it. 

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.

Show Sources 

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.

The Working Poor

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).

Show Sources

U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2011 Annual Social and Economic Supplement. POV10: People in Families by Number of Working Family Members and Family Structure. 2010.
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).

Other Facts:

Show Sources

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. 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.

Rural Communities

Rates of food insecurity, the statistical measurement of hunger or near hunger, among rural households is generally lower than urban households, but slightly higher than the national average. The irony is that many of these food-insecure households are in the very rural and farm communities whose productivity feeds the world and provides low-cost wholesome food for American consumers.

Challenges facing rural areas differ from metro/urban areas in several significant ways: (I)

Other Facts:

Show Sources

USDA. Economic Research Service. Leslie A. Whitener, R. Gibbs, and L. Kusmin. Rural Welfare Reform: Lessons Learned. Amber Waves. June 2003.
USDA. Economic Research Service. Robert Gibbs. L. Kusmin. Low-Skill Employment and the Changing Economy of Rural America. ERRR-10. October 2005.
USDA. Economic Research Service. Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M and Carlson, S. Household Food Security in the United States in 2010. September 2011.
U. S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2009 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, POV43: Region, Division and Type of Residence- Poverty Status for People in Families with Related Children Under 18 by Family Structure: 2008. Below 100% of Poverty-All Races.
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