It was quite a payday for the United Food Bank of Plant City – and the needy people it serves.
Unity in the Community on Friday presented checks totaling $35,000 to the food bank during the Plant City Daybreak Rotary Club's Country Cracker Feast. The feast itself was expected to generate another $5,000 for the food bank.
Joyce Jordan Hooke, who founded Unity in 1999, said the food bank is a worthy cause, particularly given the tough economy and approaching holidays.
"There are a lot of people in need of food in this day and time," said Hooke, adding that a check for $5,000 was earmarked for the food bank's holiday turkey baskets.
Hooke, Unity President Steve Hurley and other board members presented the checks to food bank's Executive Director Christine Miller and other representatives.
Hooke said Unity donates more money to the United Food Bank than any other charity her organization supports. Unity, which helps needy in the Plant City area, will give out a total of $110,000 to $120,000 during 2012, she said.
This is the second year that Unity has presented a major donation to the food bank during the Cracker Country Feast, held at the home of George and Cassandra Banning. Hooke said she selected the occasion because it is a well attended charity event.
About 125 to 130 guests attended the feast, Cassandra Banning said. More than $10,000 was raised by the event, including through a wild game dinner and silent auction.
Half of the money raised by the third annual feast goes to the food bank and the other half goes to such Rotary Club projects as dictionaries for Plant City fourth-graders and Rotary Camp Florida, a camp for children with disabilities.
Entertainment during the evening featured Charlie Boone's bluegrass band The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snakes. Former Plant City mayor and state House of Representatives candidate Dan Raulerson, a gourmet cook, grilled dove and served them as appetizers during the evening. Congressman Dennis Ross also attended the event and said a few words of greeting.