CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — The number of families still struggling to put food on the table in Citrus County is steadily increasing, but according to the Citrus County Community Food Bank, for every dollar donated, they can prepare about 10 meals.

What You Need To Know

  • Citrus County Community Food  Bank officials say the number of families in need is continually rising in the county

  •  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank was serving about 17,000 people; it is currently serving about 60,000 people

  • Officials say for every dollar donated to the food bank, about 10 meals can be prepared

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the food bank is still seeing a record number of people in need.

Food Bank Executive Director Barbara Sprague told Bay News 9 that is takes about 24 hours for donations to come in and be distributed to families in need.

“We use to feed about 17,000 people throughout our region in this community and now we are continuously feeding about 60,000,” she said.  

The community has partnered with local restaurants and a local barbershop for their annual Empty Bowls event to help fight hunger.

“Every time that you purchase something at one of our restaurants and dine in there or carry out there, it’s gonna help to feed someone else’s family,” she said of the Empty Bowls Campaign.

Sprague said the goal is to raise about $10,000 during the week of April 11-17 through the Empty Bowl Campaign. 

"We want to make sure that we get as much poundage in here as we possibly can because we want to push that poundage out and in to the mouths and bellies of those folks facing some food insecurities today,” Sprague said.  

She said in Citrus County the help is fantastic. Some people have even donating their stimulus check to help get more food in the warehouse because they felt that they didn’t need it as much as they felt someone else in the community can benefit from it, Sprague said. 

Below is the list of restaurants in Citrus County who have partnered to help the Food Bank:

  • Tim’s Barbershop
  • Amy’s on the Avenue Boutique & Bistro
  • Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters
  • Wallace’s at the Greenhouse
  • Manatee Maven
  • Katch Twenty Two Restaurant

Also, visit for restaurant specials and online donations.