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Local Pizza Hut lends hand to charity

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By Eryn Worthington

 

HOMOSASSA SPRINGS — Normally, when entering Pizza Hut, aromas of warm pizza dough cooking with diverse toppings strike the nose in abundance. Wednesday morning was a little different.

Judy Long, manager of Homosassa Springs Pizza Hut, stood with Diane Toto, president of the We Care Food Pantry, talking about the nonprofit organization, a food distribution center that serves struggling residents.

Long was intrigued by the impact of the organization on the community and donated $500 to the food pantry as a result of a company fundraiser.

Nationwide, Pizza Hut held a fall fundraiser to raise money for World Hunger Relief Inc. Pizza Hut in Homosassa Springs placed seventh in its franchise group by raising more than $3,000 in a six-week period. In return, the Homosassa Pizza Hut franchise donated $500 to its charity of choice as a way to give back to its community.

“What a wonderful cause to give money back to,” Long said about the food pantry. “I always see their trucks and knew this would be the best place to give the money to. I know they feed the community here.”

Toto was grateful for Long and Pizza Hut’s contribution and support. She said the money will be used to help feed the roughly 1,000 Citrus County families registered as needing assistance at the pantry. 

“This is a very generous county,” Toto said. “This is probably the most generous county around. Once they understand the magnitude of the problem, they respond. There are a lot of poor people in the county but they are taken care of. There are 51 agencies in the county that take care of different needs.

“We want to help everybody.” Toto continued. “That’s why we are working with Catholic Charities and the dental clinic to get things going. If we all work together it will be very strong. But it’s only through the generosity of the people in the county that we can get it done.”

We Care Food Pantry has begun services at the new dental and medical clinic at the Catholic Charities Community Outreach Center, 9020 W. Atlas Drive, Homosassa. For more information, call 352-228-4921, email wecarefood @gmail.com, or send a letter to P.O. Box 331, Homosassa, FL 34487

Contact Chronicle reporter Eryn Worthington at 352-563-5660, ext. 1334, or eworthington@chronicleonline.com.