It all starts with a knock on the door.
“Good morning! Are we going to be blessed with food today?” calls a voice from outside.
“Yes, indeed,” responds Deborah, founder of CWC Ministries.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how many food pantries across Central Florida distribute food, including CWC Ministries in Ormond Beach, one of 550 food pantries and meal programs in Second Harvest Food Bank’s network of partners. Before the pandemic, people seeking help with food would come inside for a warm welcome and the opportunity to select grocery items for their families. Now, they knock on the door and wait for a shopping cart filled with grocery bags to be wheeled outside. The carts are sanitized after each use. Due to physical space limitations, CWC isn’t able to offer the drive-up or drive-thru service available at other locations.
Over the last 10 years, more and more people have found their way to CWC Ministries. Prior to the pandemic, the CWC provided food to 75 people per month. Many of them are single parents or seniors. Recently, that number climbed to 2,000 people each month. Deborah and her volunteers have helped people of all ages and from all walks of life. They’ve lost their jobs during the pandemic as local hotels and businesses have shut down and are grateful that one place hasn’t closed in their neighborhood, the food pantry.
Dorothea is just one of hundreds of individuals to knock on the door at CWC Ministries.
“It really helps my family,” says Dorothea. “It’s been a struggle after losing my job and my car. Soon I might lose my home, so I’m so grateful for this place.”
Every bag that goes out the door to a family, like Dorothea’s, is packed with pantry staples, plus fresh milk, eggs and meat. The food distributed at CWC Ministries comes from Second Harvest Food Bank as a result of community food drives, government commodities and donations from grocery partners.
“Right now I don’t see an end to the need, but I also don’t see an end to the gratitude given back from those who are helped either,” says Deborah.
1 in 6 Central Floridians is facing hunger.
You can help.