Ocala food pantry desperate for donations

FOX 35 News at 6 p.m.

- Inside, the Interfaith Emergency Services pantry is usually stacked with food. Now, shelves are almost bare. "It gets concerning this time of year, every year," said Karla Grimsley, CEO of Interfaith Emergency Services. "It is dangerously low. Basically, whatever's donated today will go out the front door for people today for services."

Grimsley said unless they get donations and support from the community, there's a risk they won't be able to feed families for Thanksgiving.  "There potentially could be people that go without help," she said.

Grimsley said the food pantry is Marion County's largest, serving about 400 families a week. That's about 30,000 people every year.  But right now, food donations just aren’t coming in. On top of that, the food pantry is still trying to rebuild after a car clammed into one of their storage barns about a month ago. That caused about $100,000 in damage. Grimsley said, "It is kind of a walk of faith right now, waiting on the food to come in every day."  

The Ocala Police Department is trying to help. They are having a food drive for the pantry. Grimsley said other city services are gathering donations for the pantry, too.  FOX 35 was there today as a small group of women brought in at least 30 turkeys from their neighborhood food drive.  Mary Anne Hall, of Ocala, said, "There's nothing better than giving to somebody else."  

Grimsley said no matter the size, every single box of food helps right now.  "I just want to say 'thank you'. We exist because of you," she said. 

So, what kinds of donations does the pantry need?  Any kitchen staples like the ones listed below:

- Peanut Butter
- Jelly
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Meats
- Canned Soups
- Canned fruits
- Soups
- Pastas
- Pasta Sauces

Really, anything you can donate is appreciated.  For more information, Call Interfaith Emergency Services at 352-629-8868.  You can also donate food at the Ocala Police Department until November 9, 2015.


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