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Charlie Justice to hand out free produce in Lealman

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Free produce is coming to Lealman thanks, in part, to Pinellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice. Justice is launching Farm Share to the area Monday, April 4. Free produce will be available to those who need it while supplies last.

“The Lealman community is incredibly important to me and to our entire Commission,” said Chairman Justice.

The event begins at 11 a.m. at the Lealman Connection Center at 3875 54th Avenue North.

Justice partnered with the Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League, the Florida Dream Center and Adopt-A-Block, the Lealman Asian Neighborhood Family Center and the Juvenile Welfare Board. He’ll be on hand during the give-away along with other county staff.

Lealman is classified as one of five zones of poverty within the county. The area faces problems with poverty, homelessness and unemployment. The area also suffers from lack of access to healthy food.

“We are making Lealman a priority. Creating a Community Redevelopment Area, targeting funds to acquire land for workforce and affordable housing, and prioritizing staff time to target Lealman are just some of the ways we are looking to improve the quality of life,” Justice continued. “The Farm Share free produce give away is one more way to make things a little better.”

Farm Share is a non-profit organization providing nutritious foods to people in poverty and in areas deemed food deserts. It utilizes surplus food from farmers to distribute to those in need and to social service agencies in Florida and throughout the Southeastern U.S.

Last year they provided more than 32 million pounds of food to hungry families in four million Florida households.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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