Baggin' It

Orange City residents Jean Collock and April Rummel volunteered at the Food Drop of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida at University High School in Orange City on Wednesday, July 22. They were taking potatoes out of boxes and divvied them up into orange bags.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida dropped off 28,922 pounds of food July 22 at University High School in Orange City.

Vehicles lined Rhode Island Avenue all the way back to South Volusia Avenue, with some waiting at the lights to make the turn onto Rhode Island.

“We put the word out with partners in the area,” said Tanysha Hartsgrove, communication director of Daytona Dream Center, a group that assists in coordinating deliveries. “Our goal is to (coordinate) one a month, sometimes more.

“There are a lot of families that have been impacted . . . some people are back to work trying to catch up,” Ms. Hartsgrove said. “We’re providing them with food, one less thing to worry about. They don’t have to choose this week between buying groceries or paying a bill.”

Kelli Marks, president and founder of Backpack Buddies Orange City and an Orange City Councilwoman, said there were 60 volunteers at the event. Also involved was Payit4ward of Daytona Beach.

“We served 519 households, 2,020 people,” Ms. Marks said. “There were 420 vehicles that came through the line with 100 vehicles being turned away. You can see there is a real need.”

The 24 pallets of food included meat (roasted turkey, raw turkey, pepperoni), potatoes (boxed and fresh), blueberries (frozen), milk, eggs, bread, sweets and chips. There were also mixed boxes filled with rice, macaroni and cheese, beans and canned goods.

Volunteers worked at stations and filled vehicles, a drive-through of sorts. Jean Collock, April Rummel and Steve Rhor worked the potato station. He lifted boxes onto the table while the two women filled bags of potatoes.

“We’re the potato people,” Ms. Rummel quipped.

Recipients waited in line for hours.

Ella Barker, 67, was first in line and had been waiting since 6 a.m.

“It’s really great that they do this for people who need,” she said. “I like the people who do this. It’s helps us a great amount.”

Annette Cook, 51, has been out three times to receive food from Second Harvest. She said there are six people in her household, including her mother and a couple of grandchildren. She said she had a double lung transplant six years ago and is disabled.

“I am God blessed,” she said. “This definitely helps.”

Dawn Corado, 52, said this is the first times she’s been out. She said she too is disabled and money coming in barely covers her needs.

“I’m appreciative of what they give,” she said. “Every bit helps.”

Lisa Reigle, 78, hitched a ride with her neighbor, Ms. Corado.

“God provides,” Ms. Reigle said.

Ms. Corado added, “If I would have had room for the rest of my neighbors, I would’ve brought them along too. The whole street is filled with the elderly.”

Ms. Hartsgrove said this is the ninth food drop by Second Harvest since the beginning of the pandemic. Drop off cities included Ormond Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Holly Hill, Daytona Beach, Deltona and Pierson.

“We served 350 families in Deltona in June and 700 families in Daytona in May,” she said.

“Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores and distributes donated food to more than 550 feeding partners in six Central Florida counties: Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia,” according to its website.

“Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed enough food for 76 million meals to partner programs, such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, day care centers and Kids Cafes,” the website states.

For other food drops and more information, visit Backpackbuddiesoc.com and daytonadreamcenter.com.

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