Food Give-Away Recap for May and June

Through the collaborative and exceptional opportunities presented by Feeding the Gulf Coast (FTGC), Destin Harvest (DH) has been able to mobilize an additional 70k pounds of free foods into Okaloosa and Walton County. These food-giveaway efforts are different than DH’s daily operation of connecting food surpluses from local grocers and food retailers to food programs in Okaloosa and Walton County. DH has been organizing teams of volunteers and community advocates at local sites for FTGC to deliver an 18-wheeler refrigerated truck loaded with free foods. These foods are palletized and dropped from the FTGC truck, and then staged by DH and volunteers to hand out to 300 – 400 participating vehicles. DH’s refrigerated truck stays on-site to store surplus pallets of refrigerated items until the pallets on the ground are exhausted. People receiving food from these events are returning home with fresh eggs, milk, yogurt, packages of chicken tenders, watermelon, peanut butter, jelly, boxes of assorted produce, bags of potatoes, and more.

On May 18th, DH and volunteer teams from Beulah Baptist Church, Sylvania Heights, along with off-duty deputies from Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, all worked together to distribute 35,000 pounds of food to over 300 vehicles at Northwest Florida Fairgrounds. It was a huge success in the face of inclement weather and serious logistical challenges. Below are some of the pictures from that food give-away.

On Saturday, June 15th, DH facilitated a food give-away at the Freeport Commons hosted by New Life Adventist Church and Walton County Sheriff’s Posse. This event was also a tremendous success, with over 400 vehicles being served. Below are pictures from the food give-away at Freeport Commons. (Photo Credit – Micki Glenn)

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NWFL Fairgrounds Food Give Away – May 18th

Destin Harvest, Feeding the Gulf Coast, and Northwest Florida Fair Association are teaming up on Saturday, May 18th to host a food giveaway at the NWFL Fairgrounds. Feeding the Gulf Coast will be delivering a semi-truck loaded with an assortment of foods for volunteers to hand out to vehicles that pass through the loop in the back parking lot of the fairgrounds.

If you or someone you know would like to receive some free food, the food give-away will start at 8:30 am on Saturday Morning (May 18th) and will run until all foods are given out.

Date and Time: Saturday, May 18th at 8:30 am

The address is: 1958 Lewis Turner Blvd, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Several volunteers will be needed to help hand out foods. If you are interested in volunteering please reach out to Chris at chris@destinharvest.org.

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1.59 Million Pounds of Food Distributed in 2023!

Destin Harvest connected 1,593,491 pounds of food to 39 feeding programs in Okaloosa and Walton County for the year 2023! DH’s biggest food contributors include almost all the major food retailers in both counties. Some of DH’s biggest recipient programs include Children in Crisis, Church on the Bay on 331, Seventh-day Adventist in FWB, Crestview, and Defuniak, One Hopeful Place, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels, Live Oak Baptist of Crestview, Black Creek United Methodist Church, Shalimar United Methodist Bread House, S4P Synergy of FWB, Salvation Army, Freeport Community Food Program, Chataqua Healthcare Services, Crestview Area Shelter for Homeless, Blue Door at St Andrews by the Sea, Westminster Presbyterian, Holt Community Pantry, and Sharing and Caring of FWB. These local programs each received at least 30k pounds of food from DH’s deliveries last year and many of them at least double that!

For the year, DH distributed roughly 570k lbs of frozen meats, 425k lbs produce, 330k lbs bakery and bread, 190k lbs non-perishable / dry goods, 55k lbs of dairy, and 20k pounds of frozen foods.

Please Consider Making a Contribution  

DH struggles to maintain consistent funding after the holidays. We are still recovering from expensive truck repairs last quarter. DH needed those funds for fuel, regular maintenance, insurance, drivers wages, and other operation costs.

If you are not already supporting DH on an annual or monthly basis, I would like to encourage you to consider the impact your donation would have locally on those who are in real need of food assistance throughout the year. DH currently has a matching opportunity for all contributions under $15k. Meaning for every dollar you can donate to DH this year, it will be matched by our private benefactor. This is a tremendous way to maximize your support for DH and the many feeding programs served in Okaloosa and Walton County.

Please consider setting up a monthly or one-time contribution today at

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/destin-harvest-inc

or mail check to:

Destin Harvest, Inc

625 Harbor Blvd. Unit 9

Destin, FL 32541

We greatly appreciate all of your who already support DH on a regular basis!

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Recipient Programs Collectively Contribute $9,500 to DH

At the last quarter of 2023, DH sent a soft request to recipient feeding programs to raise contributions for DH. From that simple request, DH’s programs raised a total of $9,508 for DH’s operation!

A huge thank you to Shalimar United Methodist Church (Bread House), St Andrews by the Sea (Blue Door Ministries), Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Harvest House, Fresh Start, One Hopeful Place, Westminster Presbyterian Church, S4P Synergy Inc, Youth Village, and Seventh Day Adventist of Crestview for their willingness to give back to DH in 2023. Their contributions will be matched at 100 percent by DH’s private benefactor!

DH will continue to seek support from local feeding programs that receive weekly deliveries from DH in 2024.

Local churches and organizations looking for a way to help combat local hunger should really consider establishing a monthly or annual contribution to DH. Having connected 1.59 million pounds of food to 39 local feeding programs in 2023, DH and active programs are currently making a huge difference in Okaloosa and Walton County, but we need more support! Please consider the impact and distance your donation will have connecting surplus foods to those with the greatest need in our communities.

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/destin-harvest-inc

And if you want to make a substantial contribution ($1000 +), to avoid heavy processing fees please consider sending a check to:

Destin Harvest, Inc

625 Harbor Blvd. Unit 9

Destin, Florida 32541



All individual contributions under $15k will be matched 100% by a private benefactor!!

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Thank You Publix Super Markets Charities!

Destin Harvest was awarded a $5k check in November through a grant provided by Publix Super Markets Charities! These funds are designated in support of Food Rescue and Distribution. This has been a huge help to our operation as we have experienced several financial hardships with our trucks in 2023. DH is truly grateful for this generous contribution. Thank you Publix Super Markets Charities!

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Matching Grant Opportunity

Destin Harvest has been presented a truly valuable opportunity to maximize monetary donations. For every contribution made by an individual donor under $15k, DH has a private benefactor who will match the contribution 100%. This is an awesome time to make a contribution to Destin Harvest.

You can donate using Credit Card, PayPal, or Apple Pay directly using the link below

https://secure.givelively.org/donate/destin-harvest-inc

You can also send a check to our office at:

Destin Harvest, Inc

625 Harbor Blvd. Unit 9

Destin, FL 32541

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Thank You Florida Power and Lights

Destin Harvest and recipient feeding programs are truly grateful for a recent contribution from Florida Power and Light (FPL) in the amount of $5,000! This donation makes the difference of 29,400 pounds of food DH will distribute to 40 feeding programs in Okaloosa and Walton County! The impact DH has on local hunger would not be possible if not for the generous support of sponsors such as Florida Power and Light!

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Thank You First Nation Group!

Destin Harvest and recipient feeding programs are truly grateful for a recent contribution from First Nation Group in the amount of $5,000! This donation makes the difference of 29,400 pounds of food DH will distribute to 40 feeding programs in Okaloosa and Walton County! The impact DH has on local hunger would not be possible if not for the generous support of sponsors such as First Nation Group!

This loaded DH truck represents a small fraction of the entire difference First Nation Group’s contribution makes!!

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Thank You Integrity Chiropractic!

DH received a generous contribution from Integrity Chiropractic last week from their Get Well program which benefits a different local charity each month. Their donation will make the difference of 2,888 meals this month!

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DH Advocate Teaches Food Resourcefulness Class

DH is piloting a nutritional education program to assist residents of local shelters with valuable information on how to prepare food cost effectively. Mariah Reynolds, a local teacher and community advocate with years of food knowledge, has passionately spearheaded the initiative and organized the first class earlier this week at F.R.E.S.H Start, a comprehensive educational, vocational, and economic housing program in Fort Walton Beach. A total of 12 women from the program attended the class.

Mariah provided folders and info-sheets on multiple recipes including how to prepare and roast a whole chicken, Chicken Soup with Rice and Noodles, and Italian Bean Stew. She also included safe handling tips and techniques on additional sheets.

DH brought a chicken 🙂

The whole room was truly engaged with the content and happy to have a discussion about food and food preparation. It makes a big difference for those attending to simply have something like this course to look forward to.

DH is grateful for Mariah’s passion to make this effort a reality. She is planning more of these classes throughout the year. We are so excited.

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