OCOEE, Fla. — Dozens of volunteers filed into West Orlando Baptist Church on Saturday morning, bright and really early, to pack up and pass out groceries for Food For Families.
What You Need To Know
- Volunteers packed and delivered food for nearly 1,300 families Saturday
- The group at West Orlando Baptist Church worked with Food For Families
- Demand has soared during the COVID pandemic, Food For Families’s CEO said
- Volunteers said it feels good to know they can help when so many need it
“I’ll be honest, when you wake up at 6 on a Saturday and you’re coming out to lift boxes, it’s kind of hard waking up,” said Dave Rosenthal, a volunteer helping from West Orlando Baptist. “But it’s exciting to know we’re helping people.”
This is Rosenthal’s third time volunteering to pack up and pass out groceries to those in need through Food For Families.
“You know, there’s so many people that are really facing a lot of difficulties right now with the pandemic,” Rosenthal said. “And just, economically, people are struggling. So to be able to do something, to help people, it’s wonderful.”
The food they distribute helps fill the gap to meet people’s food needs, according to Food For Families Chief Executive Officer and founder Mark Anthony.
“We find the neediest possible families and bring food right to their doorway,” Anthony said.
For 29 years, Food For Families has held massive food distribution events three times a year, making sure people living in the area don’t go hungry. Volunteers load cars filled with supplies for drivers to distribute to families around the area.
On Saturday, 1,280 families got a box of food this time around, as Food For Families stretches to meet the massive demand brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s really important because there are a lot of people that aren’t working, and Orlando has a lot of restaurant and a lot of attraction people in trouble right now,” Anthony said.
While the Bible story used loaves and fish to feed the masses, Food For Families volunteers helped by passing out loaves and all the food staples to help fill tables around Central Florida.
“We can’t do any miracles but we are trying to feed thousands of people! That’s for sure,” Rosenthal said.
After taking so many hard hits in this pandemic, many at West Orange Baptist Church said they are hopeful that with every box of food being loaded up and sent out, it helps in some small way to lift up their community.
“It’s a great feeling,” Rosenthal said.
If you need to find food assistance near you, you can call 407-654-7777 to find the closest option near you. Or if you want to help volunteer to pass out food or donate, visit the Southeastern Food Bank’s website.