The 2010 Second Harvest Hunger Caravan took to the roads again on Thursday, Aug. 26, this time delivering much-needed food supplies to low-income residents in Flagler and Putnam counties.
Distributions in Palm Coast and Palatka were the third and fourth, respectively, in a six-week, 10-site mobile distribution series designed to bring attention to the issue of hunger – and Second Harvest’s role in ending it throughout its 18-county service area.
Second Harvest teamed with three member agencies in Palm Coast – Grace Tabernacle Ministries, First Baptist Church of Bunnell and Grace Community Mobile Pantry – on Thursday at the Palm Coast Town Center. More than 250 recipients received USDA and supplemental food resources in the morning event.
The caravan then distributed to an additional 250 residents waiting at Palatka’s Heart of Putnam Food Pantry during an afternoon event.
Second Harvest North Florida will begin directly serving Flagler and Putnam counties on a full-time basis on Sept. 1 when it takes over operations of the Salvation Army Food Bank in St. Augustine.
For the people receiving the food in both locations on Thursday, the importance was evident.
“I am trying to support a family with no job right now, and thank God that there are people out there like you that will help us,” said Joy, a food recipient in Palm Coast. “So many people are out of work, and having the ability to turn to churches like Grace Tabernacle is what keeps us afloat. We wouldn’t make it without them.”
“For me, this means we aren’t going hungry,” said one elderly gentleman who received food. “There are a lot of people struggling, and at some time or another everybody needs a little help. I am just very thankful.”
The participating agencies in Thursday’s events echo those sentiments – that the need is great and growing every day.
“This event comes at a critical time,” said Pastor Charlie Solano of Grace Tabernacle Church. “This (time of year) is the low point of our collection process. We don’t have much on the shelves. We still go out and collect what we can and buy what we can, but what this does is give us an infusion of goods we don’t normally have. This helps make up for that shortage.”
The caravan will continue next week with a single distribution in St. Augustine on Thursday, Sept. 2 – with more than 250 households expected to receive food during the event. Other events are planned in Duval, Nassau, Clay, Columbia and Suwannee counties.