TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "It's very important that we get fresh food."
The Leon Fruit and Nut Exchange is one of many local partners that works with Good News Outreach food pantry.
They're trying to fight food insecurity, which they told ABC 27 has increased 25 percent since August. Director of Operations, Rebecca Howard, says she expects food insecurity will continue to rise in the coming months.
"It's going to get harder over the winter as people pay more for their heating bills."
The pantry serves 400 people per month in Leon County.
Howard says in addition to community partnerships they're also working with other organizations to secure more grants to provide things like microwaves, can openers, and storage containers…all to help people preserve what they get.
"You're on a fixed income or on food stamps those don't go as far as they used to."
To meet some of that need, the Leon Fruit and Nut Exchange is stepping up. They pick fruit off people's trees in the community and take it right to the food pantry. Almost 800 pounds of citrus fruits were delivered on Wednesday! Those fruits will go into a varied bag of food that community members can take home from the pantry. Howard added,
"Most people that are on a fixed income don't get a lot of fresh produce and people that only get food stamps once a month they're not getting anything fresh at the end of the month you can be sure of that and to be able to provide some kind of fresh stuff is wonderful."
One bag can provide up to 16 meals for one person...something Tallahassee resident, Bernard Diggs, says really makes a difference in his life.
"They look after people like us that need food."
The Good News Outreach food pantry is available for people who live in Leon County. They also deliver food to hundreds of people in the community and are always looking for volunteers.
The Good News Outreach food pantry distribution happens every Wednesday from 9 AM until 2 PM and Thursday from 8 AM until 2 PM on Bradford Road.
The Leon Fruit and Nut Exchange is also looking for people who have citrus trees and are willing to let them come pick their fruits to give to local food pantries!