'My heart is just so full': Annual Crop Drop donates to those in need (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

Staff Reporter
The Destin Log

The music was pumping, the laughs were plenty and teamwork and charity was the name of the game during Saturday's annual Crop Drop event at DestinUnitedMethodistChurch.

"The relationships that are made surrounding a box of potatoes, it's amazing," organizer Tara Hearn said.

For the past seven years, volunteers have gathered in parking lots around the city to serve their calling and feed those in need through the Crop Drop.

Hearn told The Log Crop Drop organizers partner with Society of St. Andrews, who coordinates with farmers in Florida and Mississippi to secure produce that isn't sold to the marketplace.

"Without her and her group, we wouldn't have any food to give to people," she said.

The Crop Drop team also partners with local businesses in the community, as well as the Church of Destin and Business Empowered to pull off the event, which also includes the Harvest Festival.

"It was a record year for the amount of volunteers," Hearn said of the 500-plus men, women and children who turned out to sort and bag more than 80,000 pounds of produce.

All told, this year's Crop Drop saw donations go out to 51 agencies. The goal is to provide for as many as possible.

"We never turn anyone away," Hearn said.

One thing Hearn and her team have in the works, outside of planning for the 2016 Crop Drop, is expanding the current Week of Blessings to include a second week in the fall, which would incorporate the Crop Drop and Harvest Festival.

Destin Mayor Mel Ponder was out lending a hand Saturday and told The Log the Crop Drop event is a showcase of what makes the community special.

"This is just a blessing for the city," Mayor Mel Ponder said. "We are transforming lives through food."

For more information about the annual Crop Drop, see 

To see more photos from the day, CLICK HERE.