CELEBRATION OF FOOD —Community members line up for a full Thanksgiving meal at the Dr. Joyce M. Cusack Resource Center Nov. 17.BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN
BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN
Members of the community lined up for a Thanksgiving meal in 2021 at the Dr. Joyce M. Cusack Resource Center in DeLand.

As the holiday season begins, there is an abundance of charity and giving to be found in West Volusia.

Local organizations have already begun to host a variety of charity events to support those who need food and other resources, but the organizations themselves need resources too, especially during the holidays.

“Particularly in the food pantry, our numbers have increased,” Rodney Mintz, the social services director at The Salvation Army of West Volusia, told The Beacon

Dot Bradley, the director at New Hope Human Services Inc., said her organization is seeing a similar increase in demand even during their regular weekly food pantry times.

“There has been a definite increase,” Bradley said. “Over 200 [people] on a standard Wednesday.”

Despite high demand, local organizations are doing their best to keep up.

“We are trying to keep up with the demand. A lot of the food pantries have closed down, but we’re here and we’re here to serve,” said Mintz.

Mintz stressed that donations and volunteers could help lessen the burden of helping a large number of people. He believes the demand is not currently being met.

“We’re probably not reaching everyone that we would like to,” Mintz said.

Bradley spoke about the importance of helping one another.

“We are all in this together,” Bradley said. “Whether we want to say so or not, we really are all neighbors to each other, even if we don’t live down the street from each other.”

Local turkey giveaways happening across West Volusia

Even though some charitable events to help the West Volusia community have already occurred, there are still more to take place in the coming week. 

  • Journey Church will hold its monthly food pantry a week early because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Bags of nonperishable food will be available from noon-1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 975 E. Graves Ave. in Orange City.
  • The City of Deltona will host a drive-thru turkey giveaway at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Dewey O. Boster Sports Complex, 1200 Saxon Blvd. One turkey will be given away per vehicle to Deltona residents who have proof of identification.
  • The Joyce M. Cusack Resource Center will hold its annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner and coat, glove and blanket giveaway 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, at Spring Hill Park, 971 S. Thompson Ave. in DeLand.
  • Ministry Without Walls will host a free community Thanksgiving dinner 9 a.m.-noon Thursday, Nov. 24, at Earl Brown Park, 750 S. Alabama Ave. in DeLand. 
  • DeLand Church of the Nazarene will provide free turkeys to the first 100 people to sign up and attend “A Night of Wonder.” The event, which will feature a magician, begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at 913 E. New York Ave. in DeLand. To sign up, text the word “Turkey” to 833-347-8106. Email questions to delandnaz@gmail.com, or leave a message at 386-734-8281.
  • The Salvation Army of West Volusia will hold a food distribution event beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at 1240 S. High St. in DeLand. Gift cards for food will also be available.
  • The Volusia Basket Brigade will host its annual Thanksgiving box distribution beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in which volunteer drivers will deliver food to nominated families.
  • The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia will begin to provide food out of their food pantry the week of Monday, Nov. 21, at 434 S. Woodland Blvd. in DeLand. People are urged to call 386-734-8120 beforehand to put their names on a list to receive food. 

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