Reaching a Community in Need

On Saturday, June 6, Ministry Village at Olive (MVO) will join with volunteers from Olive Baptist Church to host food giveaways at 2 locations – the Warrington campus of Olive Baptist Church and the campus of Pensacola High School. This will be the second community giveaway organized by Ministry Village in the past month.

In early May, MVO distributed more than 1,200 bags and boxes of food to the community using the main campus of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola as the distribution site. In partnership with Patriot Emergency Response Team, a nonprofit organization based in Crescent City, Florida, as well as Farm Share, and Butler Foods of Pensacola, nearly 90 volunteers packed and distributed food that had been donated and delivered to our area. Organizers found people in line as early as 2 AM on the day of the food giveaway, and what was expected to be a steady distribution lasting a good part of the day was finished much too quickly, with all 30,000 pounds of food distributed shortly after 10AM.

“There is so much need right now,” said Jeremy Portmann, Executive Director of Ministry Village at Olive. “So many people are hurting in our community. The pandemic has affected people from all walks of life. We’ve had people coming for assistance who have told us they’ve never even thought of asking for help with food before. Thankfully, we’ve also had a huge outpouring of support from people here in our community and throughout the state of Florida who want to help.”

After the overwhelming need demonstrated at the May 2nd food giveaway, Jeremy, his team at Ministry Village, and a team of staff and volunteers at Olive Baptist Church began working to put together another giveaway. That’s how the idea for 2 food distributions on the same day was born. “We know there are people hurting all over our community, and we heard stories from so many people who came from all parts of Escambia County to our first food giveaway. So this time, we decided to move the giveaways to other parts of town and reach people who might not have been able to travel to the first distribution we held.”

With Olive’s Warrington Campus on board as one distribution site, the team sought approval from Escambia County School Superintendent Malcolm Thomas. With his approval, Pensacola High School became the second location. Gates will open at 8AM at both locations and the giveaway will last until all the food has been distributed. There is no criteria to meet. Anyone is welcome, and no one will even need to leave their vehicles. Just drive through and pop the trunk. Food will be loaded by volunteers, and then you can be on your way.

The Health and Hope Clinic will also be on site at Pensacola High School, giving information on the services they provide daily in our community, as well as distributing Narcan to those who know someone in danger of opioid overdose.

Ministry Village wishes to thank its partners Patriot Emergency Response Team, Farm Share, Inc., Butler Foods of Pensacola, Olive Baptist Church, Health and Hope Clinic and the dozens of volunteers who are coming together to support this community giveaway.

WHEN: Saturday, June 6 – Gates open at 8 AM – Giveaway will last until all food has been distributed

**Event organizers are monitoring the tropical storm. If forced to cancel the event due to severe weather, we will update this event listing and the Ministry Village at Olive Facebook page.**

WHERE: Pensacola High School (500 W. Maxwell Street, Pensacola, FL 32501) and Olive Baptist Church at Warrington (103 W. Winthrop Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32507)

COST: Free – open to anyone

🥫 The Ministry Village Tender Hearts Caring Hands Food Pantry continues its normal operation. Each weekday, Tender Hearts is open to help. Those who qualify can receive 1 family food bag (designed to feed a family of 4 for 3 days) every 6 months. Requirements include a photo ID, social security number and income criteria. For more details, visit the Ministry Village at Olive website.

📦 The Tender Hearts Caring Hands Food Pantry accepts donations Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 2PM at the Ministry Village at Olive office (1716 E. Olive Road, behind Olive Baptist Church). Donations of nonperishable food items and travel-size hygiene are accepted. Financial donations are also appreciated and go toward purchasing the items THCH distributes each day. Supporters can also make purchases through Amazon and items can be shipped directly to the Ministry Village at Olive office.

🚙 The most up-to-date food pantry drive-thru hours are posted on the Ministry Village at Olive Facebook page. The Food Pantry drive thru is weather permitting. Hours vary by day and are subject to change. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work diligently to meet everyone’s needs while following CDC safety guidelines.

💵 To donate financially to Tender Hearts Caring Hands or any Ministry Village program, click here.

🙏 The mission of Ministry Village at Olive is to put the words of Jesus into action throughout our community – “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV) If you are looking for a place to demonstrate kindness to others for the glory of God, give us a call. We have opportunities through the Bargain Center; at our Tender Hearts Caring Hands benevolence program and food pantry; through the Most Excellent Way addiction support groups; at the Charis House; and at the Ministry Village Early Learning Center. Visit our volunteer page to signup, or call our office at (850) 473-4466.

Volunteers at the May food giveaway on Olive’s main campus. (Photo credit: John Blackie, Pensacola News Journal)
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