HCA Florida Citrus Hospital recently held a “Healthy Food for Healthier Tomorrows” food drive to benefit Citrus County Blessings. The two-week drive amongst hospital caregivers resulted in an overall donation of 610 pounds of jam and jelly along with a $10,000 donation.
“Our charity of choice for this year’s drive was Citrus County Blessings, a local program that provides 2,300 local students across 31 schools with six meals to take home every Friday during the school year,” said HCA Florida Citrus Hospital CEO Lisa Nummi. “We learned earlier in the year that Blessings had received a generous donation of peanut butter; we chose to complement that donation by collecting jam and jelly.”
Before the jam and jelly was donated to Blessings, hospital caregivers used the jars to create a sculpture.
“In keeping with the spirit of providing “blessings in a backpack” to kids, we turned our caregiver donations into the largest jelly backpack the state of Florida has ever seen,” said the hospital’s Director of Communications and Community Engagement Katie Myers. The jelly backpack structure includes a top loop, zipper and working straps, weighs in at more than 600 pounds and is 6’ tall.
The sculpture was entered into a contest among other HCA Florida Healthcare West Florida Division hospitals and won first place: an additional $10,000 donation to Citrus County Blessings.
“Our Citrus County Blessings program thrives on relationships like the one we have with HCA Florida Citrus Hospital and its staff. It’s a great way to raise awareness, build relationships and help our children,” said Citrus County Blessings Executive Director Christina Reed. “This jelly drive couldn’t have come at a better time to complement our large peanut butter donation. We are so thankful for our friends at HCA Florida Citrus Hospital and what they were able to accomplish for our kids.”