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Second Harvest of the Big Bend plans to increase services in North Florida's rural counties

A smiling woman holds vegetables.
Second Harvest of the Big Bend
A Madison County Second Harvest client will soon be joined by more neighbors in need of food assistance.

Thanks to assistance from Florida's Department of Agriculture, Second Harvest of the Big Bend is adding more North Florida seniors to its list of clients. The expanded program will focus on the region's more rural areas. Second Harvest CEO Monique Van Pelt said the program expansion came at the behest of the Florida Department of Agriculture.

"What we've been given is the opportunity to do is increase the number of seniors we serve through what we call our 'CSFP' or 'Commodities Supplemental Food Program' by an additional 333 seniors."

Van Pelt said most of those clients will be in the region's more rural areas, including Dixie, Hamilton, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, and Calhoun counties.

"In each of these counties, we have partner agencies that may be churches or non-profits that are the [food] pickup sites for these seniors. We even have some counties that are dropping off boxes of food at the doorsteps of seniors."

Second Harvest staff will contact those eligible seniors by letter, phone call, or text message each month to let them know how to obtain their food package.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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