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Preparing a dinner for 3,000 people is no small task. But this year, the chefs who prepare Feed Flagler’s Thanksgiving feast will have an even greater challenge: 4,000 people.
“I wish I could come back here and say there isn’t as much a need as last year, but I can’t,” County Commissioner Milissa Holland said Tuesday, as she presented results from last year’s event to the Palm Coast City Council.
About four years ago, a group of people got together and came up with the concept of feeding a traditional Thanksgiving dinner to people who are in need.
“We quickly realized that hunger has a shame attached to it,” said Holland, who was one of the original planners of the event. “What we wanted to do was change things. We came up with the concept of bringing it out to the community and the neighborhoods.”
Feed Flagler took place for the first time three years ago at 11 different locations throughout the county.
Now, in 2012, this year’s event will be even larger, Holland said. It will take place 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 11 different locations. Dinner will also be served at one location on Thanksgiving. The event is free and open to the public.
Although the locations ran out of food last year, Holland said they hope to feed 4,000 families this year, and not run out of food.
There will also be entertainment at each location. In addition to serving families a Thanksgiving dinner, money and nonperishable food items are collected. Last year, $30,000 was raised. All money raised beyond the cost of the food went back to the food banks to give away a week’s worth of groceries to 700 families. This year, Holland hopes to give groceries for a week to 1,000 families.
“It’s a very moving moment when you see a family come in, knowing they have a week’s worth of groceries they have to take home,” Holland said. “This isn’t something that happens without the participation of thousands within this community.”
To get involved and volunteer, call Flagler Volunteer Services at 597-2950.
“This isn’t a dinner for those just in need,” Holland said. “We want you to participate so the stigma goes away and it’s no longer about hunger, but it’s about the sense of community.”
Belle Terre sidewalk bridge still not completed
The pedestrian sidewalk long Belle Terre Parkway is now open to the public, according to Scott Sowers, of S.E. Cline Construction Inc.
“We had a substantial completion walk-through Monday,” Sowers told the City Council on Tuesday morning. ... That section is open to the public.”
However, because of so much rainfall over the past month, Sowers said the pedestrian portion of the bridge isn’t completed, and the concrete abutments still need to be poured.
Sowers said two parties agreed the concrete is strong enough, but the Florida Department of Transportation said it needed to be stronger before it would be approved. Because it’s a state-funded project, the FDOT must inspect and essentially sign off on a checklist.
Still, Sowers felt the concrete should be sufficient. “It’s black and white,” he said.
But City Manager Jim Landon disagreed.
“It sounds black and white, but it’s not,” Landon said. “I don’t know the details, but it is what it is, as far as the FDOT projects. (The state) is funding it, and FDOT is the one you’re going to have to satisfy. ... I don’t want anyone to think it’s FDOT being difficult. They have rules, and their whole issue is liability.”
In August, the City Council debated no longer using Cline Construction for citywide projects, but the council eventually decided to stick with the Flagler County-based construction company.
“Good luck getting this resolved,” Mayor Jon Netts said to close out the discussion.
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