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.
- 2,000 Meals and More: Feed Flagler Feasts As County Breaks Thanksgiving Bread As One
- Feed Flagler Ingredients: 100 Turkeys, 450 lb. of Ham, 170 Pies, and 2,000 Guests Wednesday
- Feed Flagler Raises $13,000 and Tons of Food Ahead of Wednesday’s 2,000 Free Dinners
- Time to Get Involved: Feed Flagler Challenges County’s Thanksgiving Compassion and Beyond
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[media id=179 width=250 height=100]
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.