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Marion County comes together again to 'Bring the Harvest Home'

Mark Anderson/Marion County government
Marion County officials say they hope to surpass the 20,000 pounds collected last year during the annual Bring the Harvest Home food drive.

Marion County's big annual drive to stock food bank shelves during the holidays culminates Friday at the Ocala Downtown Square.

For the past month, public agencies, businesses and individuals have teamed up to collect donations for Marion County families in need.

The effort -- a holiday tradition since at least 2011 -- is called "Bring the Harvest Home." Donations were collected at fire stations, law enforcement offices, government buildings and public libraries throughout the county.

Anyone wishing to join the effort can drop off non-perishable food items, baby products and toiletries at the Ocala square from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

County officials provided a list of items that local pantries need:

  • Nonperishable dry foods and foods that go with them (rice, pasta, pasta sauce, cereal, crackers, peanut butter and jelly)
  • Canned meats (corned beef, corned beef hash, ham and tuna)
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Baby items (powdered formula, diapers and lotion)
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and toilet paper)

The donations will go to Brother’s Keeper, Interfaith Emergency Services and the Salvation Army. They'll benefit people in need during the holidays and into the new year.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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