SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
After two weeks of planning and immense fundraising, the mayor’s Feed Palm Coast Initiative culminated in a day to remember for the Palm Coast community.
By day’s end, all 10,000 boxes containing food for families were given away at the two distribution locations: Palm Coast City Hall and Parkview Church.
More than 3,500 combined cars passed through the two distribution lines, many containing more than one family. They were greeted by hundreds of volunteers from faith-based organizations like Parkview Church and staff from the City of Palm Coast, City of Bunnell and Flagler County.
Additionally, cumulative financial donations to the mayor’s Feed Palm Coast Initiative surpassed $100,000 on May 2, providing an emphatic capstone to an already historic day.
The City of Palm Coast originally set a goal of $10,000 raised for Feed Palm Coast and promptly blew past it within 24 hours due to overwhelming support from the Palm Coast community.
Money going to food
New goals of $15,000, $30,000, $50,000 and $75,000 were similarly exceeded in short order. And with the May 2 push, the tally topped over $100,000.
All funds will continue to be used to purchase more food for the community.
“This has been an extraordinary day of giving and kindness,” said Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland, who spent the day providing food to residents at the City Hall location. “I am inspired by the overwhelming support this cause has received from so many different directions. I truly feel lucky to live in and represent such a caring community.”
Pastor Greg Peters of Parkview Church Palm Coast was influential in organizing and providing the volunteers for both locations.
“Today’s event was a 1-2 punch for families needing food,” said Pastor Peters, who led efforts at the Parkview Church location.
“We believe they came for food and also found hope and joy. From donors to volunteers, we were able to share our five loaves and two fish to feed thousands. This is what it looks like to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. I am so thankful for our mayor’s leadership and our community’s response. This was a huge win in the midst of a tough season.”
‘A worthy cause’
All volunteers were fed for free by the generosity of Denise Duffy, who owns and operates the Bruster’s Real Ice Cream and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs franchise located in Palm Coast. They received hot dogs, ice cream, chips and water.
“It’s been such a wonderful day seeing our community come together,” said Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson, who spent hours greeting residents and providing food. “To see the need and then help fulfill the need has been gratifying to all of us. We’re coming together for a worthy cause and it truly humbles my heart to be a part of it.”
“In more than two decades of governmental work, I have never seen an event like this planned and executed to this scale,” said City Manager Matthew Morton. “It’s incredibly gratifying to see this humanitarian vision become a reality and know that we have the resources and infrastructure to rise up for our community in these unprecedented circumstances.”