Citrus County Blessing’s Board of Directors and staff presented Citrus Libraries with a certificate of appreciation during their March board meeting.
Their partnership with Citrus County Blessings’ school year backpack program and summer Feed the Kids program is essential for its success. Each summer, Blessings uses several library campuses to distribute fresh produce for their program. During COVID 19, the libraries were a pivotal component to Blessings’ families getting the food they desperately needed. In addition, Blessings use the libraries as a distribution point, letting families go there during operating hours and pick up their weekend bags.
Our volunteers were at it again at the strawberry festival this year. They helped out at the auditorium and Gate 2. They were directing festival goers and selling delicious Ferris Farms Strawberries. Thank you to the "Best Volunteers Ever"!
For the past two years, Inverness Elks Lodge 2522 has used the Elks National Foundation Spotlight Grant to make a $2,000 donation to this local charity.
Approximately 72 percent of children enrolled in Citrus County’s public schools participate in the free/reduced lunch program. Of those 72 percent, 69 percent qualify for free lunch and 3 percent qualify for reduced-price lunch.
The Blessings program provides 1,900 local students in 28 schools with six meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner for two days) to take home every Friday of the school year.
The students are also given additional food to take home over the school breaks. Each child is recommended by a school employee. Students’ identities are protected and their names are only released to staff and key volunteers.
The Blessings program utilizes two staff members and more than 900 volunteers each month to transport pallets, pack bags and deliver the food to the schools.
Executive Director Christina Reed and program coordinator Rachel Garret-Butler also have the Inverness Elks put together a regular volunteer team to help out on the first Wednesday morning of every month during the school year.
Reed, Garret-Butler and Elks past president Richard Grosnick have worked together tirelessly to provide support to Citrus County Blessings.