Food For The Poor Donates to Two Local Charities to Help Families Have a Happy Thanksgiving
COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2022) As inflation and skyrocketing rent threaten to make Thanksgiving less joyful for many South Floridians, Food For The Poor extended a helping hand on Wednesday by donating $7,500 each to two local charities in support of their holiday meal giveaways.
FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine presented the checks to Essie “Big Mama” Reed, of Team of Life, Inc., in Broward County, and Pastor Clive Atkinson, Director of Operations, at the Liberty Movement Ministry food bank in Palm Beach County, to help both organizations provide meals for thousands of residents leading up to Thanksgiving. This act of generosity follows a longstanding tradition by FFTP to support both charities in their holiday food distribution.
“We are thrilled that we’re able to do this again,” Raine said. “I know our team members look forward to hearing news that we’re able to keep the relationship going during the holiday season.”
The economy has impacted FFTP as well, Raine said, noting that this year’s donation is less than last year’s $10,000 contribution to each organization because donations to the charity are down compared to previous years.
“It’s a less amount this year than it was for the last two because we struggled this year,” Raine said. “It’s been a much harder year, but we hope that it’s sufficiently transformative and that it helps you give to those in need this Thanksgiving. We’ll continue to look at it in future years and see if we can do more.”
Liberty Movement Ministry has been feeding homeless people, the elderly and struggling families in West Palm Beach and neighboring communities in Palm Beach County for more than a decade, not only at Thanksgiving, but all year long. The ministry expects to purchase 500 turkeys and trimmings with the donation and coupled with other assistance, provide meals for more than 3,000 people.
Cost of living increases spurred by inflation have brought more people to the ministry’s food bank, Pastor Atkinson said. Lines are much longer, and they include people who in years past would not have been seeking assistance.
“You know, we see the Lexus and Mercedes drivers in line, and you would wonder why, but I always think if someone takes the time to come and sit in a food line and wait to get a food box, it’s something that they need,” he said. “So, who can make judgment?”
In years past, the ministry’s food bank was represented by Pastor Norman “D.C.” Perkins, who passed away in July 2020. Pastor Perkins was such an integral part of the Thanksgiving food distribution that organizers decided to keep his memory alive by naming it in his honor.
“We just don’t want his memory to die because he was the foundation of the food bank,” Pastor Atkinson said.
Pastor Perkins’ wife, Dionne Perkins, and their 20-year-old son, Deondre, also attended the presentation. Deondre Perkins pledged to continue his father’s legacy and encourage more young people to get involved in the food bank, which now struggles to recruit volunteers.
“I’m going to make more of an effort to have a lot more people rally around me, so I could be more of an asset to the food bank, as well as just giving back to the community,” Deondre Perkins said.
The Norman “D.C.” Perkins 2022 Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway will be Monday, Nov. 21, starting at noon at the Liberty Movement food bank, 1301 53rd St., Units #5 and 6, Mangonia Park, Fla., 33407. Due to social distancing, recipients are asked to drive up and remain inside their vehicles to receive their turkey and a food basket.
Essie “Big Mama” Reed and her Team of Life ministry also received a donation again this year. Reed has been serving families in South Florida for decades, but she’s most known for her generosity during the holiday season and for her holiday meal giveaways for Thanksgiving.
She has received more calls for assistance over the last year, noting that inflation, increasingly high rent prices and other economic woes have threatened to steal some of the joy of Thanksgiving as families struggle to make ends meet.
“Everybody has had challenges this year,” she said. “It’s just been really hard. They can’t pay their bills, their rent is outrageous – they are paying $1,500 to $2,000 a month – and if you’re not on (public) housing, forget it. We have families out here that are really, really struggling.”
Team of Life will begin distributing meals on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 6 p.m., at 2136 NW Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33311. Recipients are asked to drive up and remain inside their vehicles to receive their Thanksgiving gift box.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.