Churches come to the rescue for residents who need help with Thanksgiving meals.
BY ANDREAS BUTLER
As the holidays begin, many people are in need of help. As they’ve done in the past, local churches have stepped in to fill the void and help the community with Thanksgiving meals and giveaways.
Residents who stopped by Hope Fellowship Church in Daytona Beach on Tuesday had plenty of reasons to give thanks. The church gave away 120 Thanksgiving boxes on Tuesday.
“We’ve been doing this since the inception of the church. Each year, it gets bigger and bigger. We are keeping the tradition going. There is an increase in need for assistance. It’s staying consistent. Last year, we gave away 125 boxes. It’s been in the same range for the past couple of years,” said Shan Jordan-Clark.
Jordan-Clark is in charge of Hope Fellowship’s food pantry. She helped to organize the Thanksgiving box giveaway.
‘A big need’
Residents expressed their thanks for the church’s help with meals during the holiday.
“Thank God for what the church is doing. It’s a good thing. A lot of people are in need just like me,” Cheryl Roundtree told the Daytona Times.
James Stringer echoed, “It’s a blessing that they are able to help. Not everyone is able to help and not everyone is able to provide their own Thanksgiving meal. It’s good what they are doing for the community. It’s a big help and there is a big need in the community.”
Worth the smiles
Those who participated had to pre-register earlier this month. They took home a box that included a turkey, dressing, green beans, collard greens, cake icing, stuffing, corn bread, sweet potatoes and baked potatoes.
“It’s a blessing to be a blessing. Just having an opportunity to serve and watch the people have smiles on their face during Thanksgiving is what inspires and motivates us to continue to try to be a beacon of light to the community,” said Senior Pastor John Paul McGee.
“People should eat. The best that we can do to eliminate hunger during hol- idays such as Thanksgiving is to help where people can experience the joy of a Thanksgiving meal,” he said.
Hope Fellowship’s Thanksgiving giveaway is part of the church’s ongoing outreach efforts to help its community.
The church provides a “We Feed” program on Tuesdays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. which provides a hot meal to the community.
There’s also a food pantry and clothing giveaway. God’s Bathhouse, a mobile ministry that provides free showers, also is at the church on Tuesdays.
“We used to deliver food through our Angel Food program, which goes back to 2008, then our bishop had the vision to bring people here for feedings. We now bring people into an environment where they can receive the food instead of us having to deliver any more,” Jordan-Clark explained.
“The community needs include both food and clothing. We are doing as much as we can with outreach services to provide help for the community.”
Pallets of food
Plenty of other local churches also provided help with food for Thanksgiving.
Mind of Christ Ministries on Ridgewood Avenue held its monthly food giveaway on Wednesday.
The church does a massive food giveaway on every third Wednesday of the month at the old the Old YMCA near Derbyshire Road and park. No identification or registration is required.
“We want to make it easier for those in the community in need of assistance. We want to be a blessing for those struggling financially, especially on Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Pastor Victor Miles of Mind of Christ Ministries told the Times.
Wednesday’s giveaway included more than 27 pallets loaded with Thanksgiving sides such as greens and potatoes.
Mind of Christ Ministries feeds 400 to 500 people each month.
More free food
Halifax Urban Ministries and the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties were among the organizations that gave away hundreds of food boxes this week.
For those seeking a meal on Thanksgiving Day, St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church will serve meals on Thursday from noon until 2 p.m. The church is located at 129 N. Halifax Ave., Daytona Beach.
For more information or to help, call 386-252-6012.