For 14 years, State Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Clearwater) has been a driving force to bring communities and food together in this region around this time of year. The food doesn’t actually come from him or his partners this year, Rep. Chris Latvala (R-Clearwater), or Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Springs).
It’s donated by Farm Share, Inc. They are farmers in the Miami-Dade County city of Homestead, part of Florida’s and the nation’s “Winter Bread Basket.” That’s where they grow okra, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and squash, just to name a few crops.
A spokeswoman for Latvala said the farmers “ship it up in a huge truck and drop it off.” Neither Latvala, nor other locals in this community effort know just what kind of food is coming in on that truck until it arrives. And that’s when the work of a lot of people kicks in - community groups and volunteers make ready to share this bounty with those in need.
This Friday, Nov. 18, volunteers at three Pinellas County sites will be handing out free produce from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Citizen’s Alliance for Progress (CAP) agency in Tarpon Springs. The second distribution will be at the Willa Carson Health and Wellness Center in Clearwater from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and then from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., the third distribution will be at the Highpoint Neighborhood Family Center in Clearwater. No documentation is required to receive produce. And distribution ends once the food is gone.
Last year, the Farm Share event served more than 1,200 families. You can get more information from Sen. Latvala's office in Pinellas County, 727-793-2797.