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Timely Boost: Feed Flagler Nets 2 Pantries $7,680, Enough to Buy 40 Tons of Food

| March 30, 2011

'A nice shot in the arm,' Bette Rountree, left, of the Church Women United Flagler Food Pantry said of the $3,840.10 her pantry received today. The Grace Tabernacle Church pantry received an equal amount. County Commissioner Milissa Holland, who led the Feed Flagler drive, is in the center, the county administration's Christy Mayer, who coordinated the effort through county government, is to the right. (© FlaglerLive)

Two Flagler County food pantries received $7,680.20–or $3,840 each–in a check-presentation ceremony at the Government Services Building this afternoon, the net proceeds from the countywide Feed Flagler fund-raising effort leading up to Thanksgiving last year.

That effort, led by Milissa Holland, the county commissioner, altogether raised $15,220. A large portion of that amount was spent on preparing for and serving 2,000 free meals at 10 locations the day before Thanksgiving. The amounts that went to the two local food pantries–run by Church Women United and Grace Tabernacle Ministries–are the net left-over dollars, after expenses.

Pastor Charles Silano, who accepted the money for the Grace Tabernacle food pantry–run in conjunction with the school district–said the money is arriving at a timely moment, as stocks from the Christmas season run dry. “That’s going to buy 40,000 pounds of food for us,” Silano said, “and I can stretch that out for a good long ways. So it’s a tremendous boost for us.”

Grace Tabernacle’s food pantry serves about 1,400 families a month through three locations–near Pathways, the school district’s alternative school, at a location on A1A, and in the Mondex. “We too are very much impressed with this community as far as–the people really want to help themselves. We’re seeing an increase, we’re seeing the middle class poor increase in size as they come to us, but because of the community coming together we’re able to meet the need. We have never had to close a day. We are open four days a week ourselves.”

Audio: The Check-Presentation Ceremony
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Bette Rountree accepted the check for the Church Women United food pantry, an ecumenical organization–that is, it serves all those in need regardless of religious affiliation, as does the Grace Tabernacle food pantry. It’s not a technical distinction: some churches serve only their own parishioners’ needs. That pantry operates Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon at 1510 Old Moody Boulevard.

“We’ve been blessed because we’re able to serve anyone in Flagler County, and that is something we are proud that we can do,” Rountree said.

Feed Flagler will return for a third year next fall, with organizational meetings and fund-raising beginning in late summer.

“Hunger is not a need only one day of the year, it’s a hunger unfortunately 365 days of the year that’s affecting many of our families today due to economic challenges,” Holland said. “So that’s not going to go away, so we would encourage the continuation of giving in the spirit of our community and coming together with these types of efforts. We don’t want to forget that in going home today.”

Outside the government services building, Suzanne Johnston, the tax collector, had joined with Jay Gardner, the property appraiser, to run a food stand: strawberry shortcake, burgers and hot dogs, a fund-raiser for Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society’s chief fund-raiser. Johnston happened to be the person responsible for raising the most money for Feed Flagler–$3,400. “Our public loved it,” she told Rountree as the two hugged with mutual thanks.

Suzanne Johnston and Bette Rountree. (© FlaglerLive)

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3 Responses for “Timely Boost: Feed Flagler Nets 2 Pantries $7,680, Enough to Buy 40 Tons of Food”

  1. Jim Guines says:

    It looks like I am going to have to add Milissa Holland to my list of local politicians who have “it”. The leadership job she has done with Feed Flagler has been a labor of love, her love for people and herself.
    I had the good fortune of working with her Dad and I know he is proud of her. Milissa keep up the good work as this community is much better off because of politicians like you. Not only do you talk the talk, but you walk the walk!

  2. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Rountree & Johnston: Two great ladies we are lucky to have in the county. Thanks girls.

  3. palmcoaster says:

    Great way to help our community! Our appreciation to Milissa Holland, Suzanne Johnston, Jay Gardner and all involved in this fund raising.

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