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.
This is a good visual to show the true wealth in this county. Thousands lining up for free welfare shows how many people in this county are poor and need assistance. I wish people would stop acting rich when they live in one of the cheapest states. How mant will be driving late model cars and wearing designer clothing on their children. People should prioritize better before taking handouts.
If it keeps folks from spreading virus by getting food without contact that happens in a grocery store then all benefit.
Gene: Please tell me, how can I act rich? I’m not sure when and where I might need to know this, but you sound like you might be able to help me.
CB from PC says
Yep. Saw plenty of “Soccer Parent” style SUVs last week at Education Way.
And you surely know everyone’s circumstances, right?
I was unemployed and disabled for most of a 3 year period back in 2011 – and lived on the piss poor unemployment that Florida gives and food stamps…after exhausting my resources….but I was driving a BMW and had some decent clothes, so would your contempt apply to me?
The car and the decent clothes I managed to hang onto were the remnants of better days….maybe you should dial back the smugness a bit…. I know that but for the grace of God, I would have been in the line yesterday.
CB from PC says
Won”t bore you with my Losers Blues version. Glad you were able to hang onto some remnants. My point is that people living paycheck to paycheck with installment debt obligations should ‘re-evaluate their financial situation if they need food given to them.
That’s not smugness, that’s just fiscal common sense.
For a long time, companies think nothing of terminating people to make the numbers look good.
So me driving my 1976 Pinto wearing bellbottom jeans and Jimmy Hendrix shirt is OK ? Oh, and the kids don’t wear clothes, they glue fish scales on themselves and go as Minnows !!!!
Many people have lost income because they were not allowed to work. They have nice cars because they WORKED for them. I did not lose my job and have no problem with helping out. What the hell is wrong with you.go sit in the corner
Lance Carroll says
Your comments are selfish and condescending. Although, I am only guessing.
I still wish they would do something for pets too. They suffer the worst in times of crisis. They need our support too. I’ll donate if they have a pet drive.
Love thy neighbor says
This will be a good visualization demonstrating the disparity between the well to do and the needy. In response to the comment about the types of vehicles people may be driving, why do you perseverate over it? Most of the people in line for food are hard working people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, may have underlying health conditions, and most have never needed this type of help before. They purchased their vehicles because they were working and they’ll need the vehicle when it’s clear and safe to return to work. There is no shame in them receiving this type of aid. The shame lies in your judgement of them.
Alan Wolff says
BS….I know people that scam this all the time, because they can!
Couldn’t have said it any better. I always enjoy reading the comments on here about people bitching and whining about anything/everything under the sun……I too have a comment about the person who posted about the vehicles that may have arrived at the event…….I heard there were plenty of volunteers for the event….were you one of them….or did you spend your time sitting behind the computer criticizing others?
The Truth says
The fancy vehicles that line up have been going on much longer than the pandemic. Any time I’ve passed the line for the food pantry on US1 near Education Way I’ve seen Mercedes, BMWs and others. I completely disagree. If you can afford a car like that you should be able to support yourself when things go south. Someone who can buy a car like that should have large savings and safety net. They’re taking advantage if you ask me.
CB from PC says
The opportunists here, and people who come here from elsewhere for free food ruins it for those who need it. Hey, I drove a 15 year old car and moved downward because I could not afford it without handouts such as this. There also us an old saying “Give a man a fish and he’ll be hungry tomorrow. Teach him how to fish and he will never be hungry again”.
Donna Clark says
Many folks live beyond their means and also charge their future. Basics are not taught (as far as I know) in school about finances. The rule of thumb now, savings that will cover 9 months of all expenses. Pay yourself first 10% in savings and LEARN to LIVE on the rest. It is not easy with college loans, car payments, rent or mortgages, but it can be done, with good choices and prayers.
People who had good jobs have now through no fault of their own found themselves in need. Sorry, but this is not the time to be casting stones. This is a wonderful expression of compassion for those in need. Please take the negativity elsewhere and be grateful.
Joe Brown says
This is a great event for people in need there are a lot of people in our community struggling/ unemployed that need help! I am thankful to live in a community that truly believes in their residents ! I will be attending& never asked anything from anybody…payed d my taxes for years & I need help unemployment a joke as of yet . So go ahead & judge it’s your right but I will be driving a beat up car& wearing clothes from 10 years ago THANK YOU!!!
Thanks “Love Thy Neighbor”. . . excellent post! Too much generalized “judgement” (AKA Discrimination) going on in our very divided culture.
Marion Manley says
Please consider a food distribution center for the Hammock . Much is needed in this area . Many people who live here cannot get to the 3distribution centers . Happy that Flagler Beach has been added.
I totally agree with :Love thy Neighbor..never mind what people drives on those food banks lines…these are the unemployed that lost their jobs to no fault of their own and their car is always the last thing to go as is needed to move around and look for work again or go back to work when their employer business reopen. These items donated were not paid with our taxes were donations given to temporary needy families in times of despair over job losses because the pandemic. Lets have constructive critique if any please. Instead we should show appreciation to all involved organizing these food drives at the city and our churches and to all the volunteers and also Flaglerlive, Observer and other media for keeping us informed.