Orange City distribution helps nearly 1,000 people

Ah, spring: warmer days, the greening of freeze-dried vegetation, citrus blossoms, a fresh start — and a time to get out and enjoy life.

Spring is also a time when people get hungry.

To satisfy that need for food, Backpack Buddies, an Orange City-based charity, started its 2022 season of free distributions of edibles, and business was brisk.

Backing up Backpack Buddies at the March 11 giveaway was Florida Farm Share, the provider of the foodstuffs, and about 50 volunteers who labored for their love of others.

In a time of rising prices for life’s essentials, more than 300 vehicles and almost 1,000 people in need came to PFC Emory Bennett Park in Orange City to take advantage of what others offered to them. The recipients drove away with a variety of items that they otherwise would have had to purchase in a supermarket or big-box store — or go without.

“If it weren’t for things like this, I couldn’t make it,” one woman said, as she waited patiently to move toward the loading point.

Others were also grateful for the generosity of others.

“Free — something we need right now,” another woman said. “I’ve got seven people in my house. They’re young. They drink a lot of milk. I live on Social Security — the only income.”

A DeBary woman who identified herself only as Luce — pronounced like Lucy — echoed the sentiments of others relying on the food drops to ward off hunger.

“It’s very important, because I’ve got grandkids,” she said. “What are we going to do? Gas is going up. Meat is going up. Milk is going up.”


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