A Flagler County food pantry is looking for support to make sure they're able to continue to fulfill a great need. The director said it’s tough for the pantry during the summer.
- Tough times for local food pantry during summer
- Volunteers remind people help needed all year round, not just holidays
"Everybody's hurting out there," said Louis Bayron.
As a volunteer for the Grace Community Food Pantry, Bayron said he isn't an exception from needing the help like thousands in the county.
"I used to go to seven different food pantries a month," said Bayron. "I'm disabled, so it's impossible for me to pay all my bills at the end of the month, my rent and put food on the table. It's just impossible, so I still have to get my food here every two weeks."
"The need seems to be unrelenting," said Pastor Charles Silano, the pantry's director.
Silano said the pantry provides meals that thousands in Flagler County depend on. But, in the summer he said it’s hard to stock the shelves without the help of enough volunteers and donors. He said since many people are on vacations and sometimes don’t think about helping out the pantry when it’s not the holidays.
"We'll have a lot of people here that will tell you if it wasn't for us being here they wouldn't know how to make it," said Silano.
Last year, donations and local stores helped them distribute more than two million pounds of food. The pantry is hoping to push out that amount and more if they can this year.
"I get produce, I get meat, I get some dairy and some bread," said Bayron.
The food pantry director said they serve about 3,000 families per month, which equals nearly 12,000 individuals monthly. People simply drive their cars up to their garage and grab their food.
"On a weekend like this, we probably distribute 35,000 pounds of food," said Silano.
"It's a big help, and I know, because at the end of the month I'm down to bare necessities, so when I get my food I feel relieved," said Bayron.
It's a feeling of relief they believe will come from the community.
"Even people that are working, they're not getting full-time work and it's very difficult for them to try to put food on the table at the end of the month, so anybody that can donate God bless you," said Bayron.
The food pantry has volunteers seven days a week. It’s open for people in need to get food and other items Saturday from 10-1 and Sunday 1-4.