The community didn’t hesitate to help a local charity when they needed it the most.
Recently, the refrigerator compressor went out on one of Destin Harvest’s food delivering trucks. The non-profit organization delivers food donations from local grocery stores, restaurants and wholesalers directly to over 40 feeding programs in Okaloosa and Walton counties.
“We got a quote to rebuild the compressor for $2,000 and we didn’t have funds to cover it,” said Chris Leavenworth, the organization’s executive director.
In a last minute effort, Leavenworth said he sent out a newsletter that reaches about 500 people and posted on their Facebook page about how crucial it is to have the truck repaired. In a matter of hours, people started to donate and reached his goal that same day.
“We are transporting perishable food items like meats, milk and dairy that we need to maintain in refrigeration,” he said. “It takes us about two hours to deliver food to our locations and we just don’t want to risk it, especially during the summer.”
Leavenworth said he has two of his three active trucks working.
“The third truck has something wrong with the battery and the refrigerator,” he said. “Ideally, (we'd like) to have all three trucks working. Sometime in the future I hope to also fix it.”
St. Andrews By-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Destin has an outreach program for the homeless in need. The church receives food deliveries every Wednesday.
“We really depend on those trucks so we can feed about 40 to 50 people every Thursday,” said Susan Black, the church’s volunteer coordinator.
On Thursdays, the church sorts out the fruits, vegetables, breads and meats and hands them out to everyone who walks into the church looking for food.
“We also rely on Destin Harvest for our hot meals on Monday and Thursday,” she said.
Black said not only are people from Destin are benefiting from the food donations and hot meals, but people come to the church from all over Northwest Florida hoping to be fed.
“A lot of people depend on those weekly food truck deliveries and without them they are going to be left disappointed and hungry,” she said.
Want to support or donate to Destin Harvest? Visit Destinharvest.org.