Adopt a Child - Difference Maker

When kids go hungry, everything else stops.

There is no possible excuse for children to go hungry in this country. Yet it happens – every day, in every community. According to the latest estimates, as many as 9 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes. That means those households don’t have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life. The number of children living with hunger had fallen steadily over the past decade, but the coronavirus pandemic dealt a terrible blow to our progress as a nation.

53% of our community’s households are considered ALICE households (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed); these are households that are trying but barely making ends meet. That number only rises as more families face income challenges against inflation rates. While almost 17% of our county’s people are considered below the poverty level, nearly 25% of children are living in poverty.

A staggering 71% of children enrolled in Citrus County’s public schools participate in the Free/Reduced lunch program. Of those 71%, 69% qualify for free lunch.

The Blessings program provides over 2800 local students in 31 schools with food to take home every Friday of the school year. The students are also given additional food to take home during school breaks. A school employee recommends each child. 

The Blessings program utilizes two staff members and over 900 volunteers each month to transport pallets, pack bags, and deliver the food to the schools.


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