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Okaloosa County Impact 100
OKALOOSA COUNTY -- If a hundred women gave a thousand dollars each, imagine the impact it would have on a local charity.
That's what happened in Okaloosa County this week.
The group of women is called "Impact 100".
Since starting up two years ago the group has grown to more than two-hundred members.
Each woman donates a thousand dollars.
Their money is pooled together then donated to area non-profit groups.
A group dedicated to fighting hunger is now set for a big expansion.
Laura Hussey "We're in the kitchen at Elder Services in Okaloosa County. All of this food that you see is going to go into meals for "Meals on Wheels" for low income seniors. This food was provided by Destin Harvest"
All the food coming off this truck would have been thrown out if it weren't for Destin Harvest.
They call themselves a "Food Rescue Organization".
Chris Leavenworth/Destin Harvest "There's just such a great need. And the amount of food we get, if I pick up 10-thousand pounds in one day, it's gone the next day."
Destin Harvest started out picking up from restaurants.
But their program really grew when they started collecting food from grocery and discount stores.
Now they distribute 100-thousand pounds a month to food banks and other community programs.
Ruth Lovejoy/Elder Services "One thing we're talking about is quality. We would not have the quality of meals we're able to put out, because we get so much produce from them"
Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat harvested instead of wasted.
Elder Services Director Ruth Lovejoy says for Meals on Wheels, Destin Harvest is a lifeline.
Ruth "We wouldn't survive. We wouldn't survive"
With the 110-thousand dollar grant from Impact 100, Destin Harvest will be able to add another used truck, a driver, and expand its pickups to ten more stores.
Chris Leavenworth "I'm blown away, I'm inspired. It's so compelling that there are people in the community that will do that. That's an investment"
Laura Hussey "Here at Elder Services, they are lucky. They have a walk-in freezer so they can store the food they receive. Destin Harvest is going to use some of its Impact 100 grant to help other clients get similar facilities."
Okaloosa's "Impact 100" group was able to give another 110-thousand dollar grant.
That one went to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge.
That money will be used to build a new veterinary clinic.
The refuge takes in more than two-thousand animals a year for treatment.
The new clinic will have an Intensive Care Unit and the latest equipment.