Vero Beach, FL (PRWEB) March 30, 2013
Mark your calendars for “Harvest Day” in Indian River County, slated for Saturday, April 6. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Harvest Food & Outreach Center volunteers will be collecting much-needed donations for the organization’s “Summer Read & Feed Program.” The nonprofit organization is appealing to the community to join together for one day to provide donations of gently used or new books with a positive message appropriate for grades K-12, healthy shelf-stable breakfast, lunch and snack food, sugar-free drinks and school supplies.
Harvest’s Read & Feed Program is designed for children at risk for food insecurity and learning loss during the summer school break. Each day of the program, children receive, enrichment classes, free tutoring, lunch and afternoon snack daily. A fun, focused curriculum centers on character development and building social capital through the arts, physical exercise, nutrition, reading tutoring and interactive presentations. An emphasis on volunteerism and social engagement are also fostered through the “Giving Back” workshops. Shelf stable breakfast and lunch items for members of each child’s household and two grade-level books for each child in the program are sent home weekly. At the close of the program in August, children receive a backpack with school supplies for the coming school year.
Most locations will be collecting items within the 9 a.m.-1 p.m. timeframe. Check http://www.harvestfoodoutreach.org for location addresses, collection times and a comprehensive list of needed items.
In addition to the Harvest Day event, the organization is currently raising funds to expand education and employment programs in a 5,000 sq. ft. Life Enrichment Center on the north Vero Beach campus. The goal to support this initiative is $325,000. As funding becomes available, Harvest is planning program enhancements that include adding a third tier to its education and job readiness programs to help people find employment. With this expansion in place, the organization will strive to close the loop on job placement and concurrently establish a network of faith communities along with corporate partners to match those seeking employment with companies or small business owners with job openings that need to be filled. In addition, the organization will add a Community Garden as a component of its nutrition education and also a 24 workstation computer lab for individuals to learn basic computer skills and assist in GED and FCAT preparation, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), online job research and resume building.
Harvest Food & Outreach Center, founded in 2003 by Austin and Ginny Hunt in Indian River County, provides a holistic, multi-component approach that provides a hand up to those living at or under the 200% of the federal poverty level. The organization’s unique model offers a comprehensive three-tiered approach to lifting people out of poverty through a Hunger Relief Program that includes an Emergency Food Pantry and Cost Share Grocery Program, a Crisis & job skill development center , which together, stabilizes people in crisis through counseling and active referrals to services, education and employment opportunity programs that address the source of the problem and provides long term solutions to those in need. For more information about Harvest’s programs, volunteer opportunities, or how to make a donation visit http://www.harvestfoodoutreach.org or call Annabel Robertson at 772-770-2665.