Florida Officials Urge Residents to Contribute to Food Banks

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Florida food banks say they're serving a lot more people following this summer's hurricanes.

The Second Harvest Food Bank in Tallahassee reports contributions from private, corporate and government sources are all down this year.

Denise Griewisch with the Second Harvest Food Bank says hunger is a growing problem even in the U.S. Griewisch hopes private and corporate donors will step up their contributions. She says a change in the way the government distributes food forces food banks to rely more heavily on private donations.

The Florida Department of Agriculture, which oversees food banks and charities, is urging you to donate food and money to those groups this holiday season.

Spokesman Terry McElroy says the hurricanes have made life a lot tougher for many more families.

McElroy urges you to check with the Department of Agriculture to find out if a group is registered with the state and is in good standing. He says you don't want your hard-earned contributions to end up going to a scam.

Call 1-800-HELP-FLA for more information or go to www.800helpfla.com on the Web.