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FEEDING THE HUNGRY TOP STORIES Donations surpass food tonnage collected in 2011, but more residents reported to be in need — Rachel Brown Hackney Using two staging areas — Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota and Cranberry Elementary School in North Port — volun- teers for the Mayors Feed the Hungry Program boxed up more than 44 tons of food on Nov. 16 for area residents who otherwise would not enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, Scott Biehler, vice chairman of the program, told The Sarasota News Leader Nov. 19. The food was scheduled to be delivered to 25 different food pantries in Sarasota and Manatee counties, he said. Biehler noted that the need for assistance continues to grow in the area. "We've seen a lot of people who have given to the food pantries in the past … are coming to the food pantries themselves now," he added. (Full story here) A LOOMING SHORTFALL Unless projections change over the coming months, the Sarasota County School Board may have to consider new cuts for its 2014 budget — Scott Proffitt The budget for the Sarasota County Schools' 2014 fiscal year likely will have a shortfall, based on preliminary fig- ures, Deputy Chief Financial Officer Al Weidner told the School Board members during their Nov. 20 workshop at The Landings. As of Oct 31, the district's general fund budget for 2014 shows a projected increase in revenue of $4 million from the state and $3 million from prop- erty and other taxes, Weidner said. On the spending side, the budget allows for a $4.6 million decrease in sala- ries — a result of eliminating 10 positions because of the overall decrease in student population from previous years, Weidner added. However, he projected an $8 million rise in appropriations. (Full story here) AT A GLANCE

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