It’s never too late to donate


The Holt Community Food Pantry received more than 300 pounds of donated food Aug. 15 from the Emerald Coast Hospice August food drive. (Donna Ash)

HOLT, Fla., Aug. 20, 2018–There’s still time to participate in the Emerald Coast Hospice annual food drive which directly benefits the Holt Community Food Pantry.

Emerald Coast Hospice is part of Kindred Healthcare who organizes a food drive annually for the month of August.

“In August, nobody donates to the food bank,” said Ann O’Connor, Emerald Coast volunteer coordinator.

Families concentrate on getting their children back to school, so money and attention goes toward buying school supplies and clothes for the new academic year, she said.

“Food pantries are out of food in August,” she said, “and families still need food.”

O’Connor delivered 325 pounds of donated canned and dried food to the Holt pantry Aug. 15 collected at the Publix supermarket on South Ferdon Boulevard.

“We appreciate the chance to partner with Emerald Coast Hospice this year during their annual food drive,” said Donna Ash, Holt pantry manager. “Our shelves can get pretty bare this time of year.”

O’Connor spends her time driving around the Holt, Baker, Crestview and Niceville areas collecting food donations and delivering them to Holt and the Crestview and Niceville pantries of Caring and Sharing.

“I will drive wherever they want me to drive,” she said. “I pick it up and drop it off.” That includes pickups at individual households, if necessary.

People can drop off food donations to Emerald Coast Hospice of Crestview, 550 Redstone Ave. W., Suite 310.

Or, if people want to deliver it directly to the Holt pantry, O’Connor requests they give her a weight total so she can keep track of how much is donated during the drive.

“Everything we collect in Holt stays in Holt,” she said. “We take it straight to the food pantry in Holt.”

Local food donations can be dropped off at Holt Water Works Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon or at the Holt Community Baptist Church, said Ash.

Workers will be at the Holt pantry and can accept food donations Tuesday from 11 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays during normal operating hours from 9 a.m. to noon.

“Every little bit helps,” Ash said.

Canned items needed are fruits and vegetables, meats, beans, soups and sauces. Dry goods include cereals, pasta, rice and cookies. (See list below.)

Collections for the drive end Aug. 31.

Needed food items

Canned and jarred goods:

  • Vegetables (low salt preferred)
  • Fruit (low sugar, without corn syrup preferred)
  • Tuna, chicken
  • Beans
  • Soup
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Spaghetti sauce (with meat preferably)

Dried goods:

  • Cereals (not sugared)
  • Rice
  • Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni & cheese)
  • Cookies and crackers
  • Meal starter kits


  • Juices
  • Water




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