To contribute to Feed Palm Coast, go here.
In a first for Flagler County, three food distributions will take place almost simultaneously at four locations in Palm Coast and Flagler Beach on Saturday (May 2), involving thousands of local families, two municipal governments, the sheriff’s office and Grace Community Food Pantry.
It’s a bittersweet first, because while it reflects an outpouring of community support for those in need, the expected mile-long car lines also reflects a crushing need for food and resources among families that have suffered job losses and decimated treasuries because of the prolonged coronavirus emergency.
The distributions include the major Feed Palm Coast food drop organized by Palm Coast government and Mayor Milissa Holland, the weekly food distribution on Education Way, off of U.S. 1, organized by Pastor Charles Silano’s Grace Community Food Pantry, and a new initiative in Flagler Beach, also in conjunction with Grace Community, organized by Mayor Linda Provencher.
“It’s never been done before,” Pastor Charles Silano of Grace Community said of the triple food drop in a single day. Silano has been at the center of Flagler County’s food-relief efforts for years, and has seen those needs wax and wane before, but the past few weeks have been unprecedented, with cars backing up in long lines along U.S. 1 for the Saturday and Sunday food distributions on Education Way.
Those lines will characterize Saturday’s roads in four areas of the county Saturday.
When the Feed Palm Coast initiative to provide a week’s worth of groceries for 5,000 families started two weeks ago, Palm Coast government’s fund-raising goal was $30,000. That was quickly eclipsed by a flood of donations that have reached $85,000. The city’s goal is now $100,000. All funds will be devoted to the ongoing Feed Palm Coast initiative as well as subsequent food-aid efforts that will continue as the coronavirus emergency weighs down families’ budgets and raids pantries bare.
The large-scale food drop is scheduled for Saturday starting at 10 a.m. simultaneously at Palm Coast City Hall and at Parkview Church on Belle Terre Parkway. It will conclude at 4 p.m.
“We’ve been working hard with them on the traffic plan,” Sheriff Rick Staly said this morning on WNZF, “I think we have as good a plan as we can, expecting the volume that’s expected.” Beach 92.7 will be live at Parkview Church, and Kix Country 98.7 will be live at the City Hall location, keeping riders informed. (For traffic flow and directions, see the details at the foot of the article.)
It’s truly remarkable when you think about it,” Holland said, citing a truckload of food being dropped off by Palm Coast Ford. “We want to be able to collect the food and monetary contributions right up until later today because we want this to go as far as possible. We know we’re going to meet the 5,000-family goal. We’re not stopping there. We’re going to feed as many people as humanly possible tomorrow, and then we will continue to partner with the other food drives and banks moving forward. We know this need is not going to go away, but is particularly heightened with the staggering unemployment rate and things like that due to Covid-19. So the community came together in a big way, not surprising as we have extraordinary residents, but it’s truly inspiring.”
The city has had a few questions from people about whether they qualify, whether they have to be Palm Coast residents, whether they have to meet any criteria. There are no such limitations or criteria in place. The effort is for anyone who turns up. “This is a community-wide drive,” Holland said.
Flagler Beach and Grace Community will be doing a food pickup and delivery for city residents from 1 to 3 p.m. at The Wickline parking lot by the Flagler Beach Library. Residents picking up food will be asked to line up on Flagler Avenue. Food will be placed in the trunk of your car, then you will exit onto 7th street. Unlike the Palm Coast food drop, the products in Flagler Beach will include frozen protein and produce. That will also be the case at Education Way.
If you need a delivery made to your home, please contact Linda Provencher at [email protected]
This was made possible by money donated from The Flagler Beach Rotary. If you would like to make a monetary donation, checks can be sent to Grace Food Community Food Pantry, P.O. Box 354528 Palm Coast Florida, 32135, or visit their website at http://
“The community effort is very energizing. We’re getting such great support, I know the city of Palm Coast is as well, even Parkview Baptist, I did a food drop there about three weeks ago,” Silano said. “It’s just a great community.”
Silano’s weekly Saturday food drop on Education Way is still scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
And separately, Verdego Garden Center, the long-time business in Bunnell, devoted four days of revenue last week–the business’ entire revenue–to a fund-raiser for Grace Community Food Pantry, raising $32,000. See details here.
“Verdego–just totally unexpected,” Silano said, recalling how one recent food distribution at Education Way drew such a crush of families that cars wended their way on U.S. 1 all the way out to Verdego. “I guess they were moved with compassion, because that’s when they called us.”
Traffic Directions for Drivers at the City Hall and Parkview Church Food Drops:
The entry point for the line for the Parkview Church Palm Coast location begins on Belle Terre Parkway heading south towards Bird of Paradise near Indian Trails Middle school. Enter the Indian Trails Sports Complex and continue to the church.
The entry point for the line for City Hall will begin at Royal Palms Parkway @ Belle Terre Parkway and will follow Royal Palms Parkway east to Town Center Boulevard. From Town Center Boulevard, traffic will continue west onto Central Avenue toward City Hall.
For the event, please note the following road use alterations.
Near the Parkview Church locations, all roadways will be maintained open to travel.
Near City Hall, please note the following changes during the roadway event.
1. At Landing Boulevard traffic circle, Central Avenue will be closed to eastbound traffic.
2. At SR 100, Bulldog Drive will be closed to northbound traffic.
3. At Old Kings Road, Town Center Boulevard will be closed to westbound traffic.
4. At Town Center Boulevard traffic circle, Central Avenue will be closed to westbound traffic.