By Heather Bennett
Harvest House is a Christian based nonprofit organization, and Executive Director Lori Joyner believes they are doing God’s work for the community. They continue to pray for those in need, helping people from all walks of life and situations. “We are God’s hands and feet. Everybody who’s in Harvest House, our volunteers, our staff, our board of directors—we’re just His hands and feet. We’re blessed. We don’t even call it a job,” said Lori. “The Lord Jesus is definitely in that building and we see miracles happen all the time in here—it’s amazing. There are a lot of tears that happen in the Harvest House food pantry, lots of laughter and lots of success stories.”
If you are not familiar with Harvest House, the organization donates food and clothing to those in need. In addition, they have a boutique thrift store to help fund food that is needed for their food pantry.
Harvest House is always looking for volunteers. Some of the positions are to help shoppers in the boutique, test electronics, pack food, hang clothes, pick up food, clean the store and help with landscaping. Lori also said that they would love to see more local businesses get involved giving monthly monetary donations or services. She believes in our community and our willingness to step up as needed, as it has been recently proven. “We live in a beautiful area, and we live with beautiful people who have giving hearts. We’re so thankful for that.”
Harvest House primarily helps those in the Destin-Miramar Beach area. With proper identification, families can receive grocery assistance through their food pantry. In addition to this service, they have expanded to include assistance to those outside their area who are affected by the government shutdown and Hurricane Michael. “That’s the joy of Harvest House. We feel that every item donated to us is extremely valuable in some aspect. We work together with other nonprofits so we can get them out to where they really need to go,” said Lori.
In the last few months they have seen some new faces at the food pantry and want everyone seeking assistance to know they are welcome. “When you’re in a situation where you’ve never had to go for help, it’s a very humbling process. We try to treat people with the utmost respect and keep it as confidential as possible,” stated Lori. “We journey with everyone who comes through. We try to love them and help make a difference in their lives and put a smile on their face.”
The Harvest House in Destin has expanded from its Mountain Drive location to an additional second location at 114 Palmetto Drive Suite 1. Harvest House TOO is a 1,000 square foot space that houses “The Finer Selection” of items. “It’s all the really pretty things that come in—designer handbags, and pretty pictures that don’t need to be damaged. You walk in there and it feels totally different than a thrift store,” said Lori. You can also find pieces of art, clothing, jewelry and unique home goods, many items brand new.
They are able to utilize some space at the new location for food storage as well. An abundance of food donations is not a bad problem to have, especially at a time when so many people are in need. “We never know when we have extensive food drives, how successful they are, or when people are going to donate,” stated Lori. If you are interested in donating, you can look at their Facebook page for a list of items that are currently needed. Currently, those items are pinto beans and mashed potatoes.
If you are interested in finding out more about Harvest House or Harvest House TOO, or volunteering, you can find them on Facebook for daily sales, and their Website, harvesthousedestin.org or give them a call at 850-837-2277.