'COME WHEN YOU CAN': Crestview mission offers flexible schedule

Lonny Fuller and Gene Stanton load several hundred pounds of food provided by the Crestview Winn-Dix

Lonny Fuller and Gene Stanton load several hundred pounds of food provided by the Crestview Winn-Dixie. The food will help feed more than 1,000 needy residents per month.

BRIAN HUGHES / News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at 02:24 PM.

CRESTVIEW — While the morning sun climbs in the sky, Gene Stanton and Lonny Fuller work hard, loading hundreds of pounds of food and produce into their trailer.

The men volunteer with Brother Raymond Williams’ New Beginnings Baptist Ministries Missions. The food — from Crestview's Wal-Mart and Winn-Dixie — is just past its last date of sale, but still fresh.

And a bargain at 2 cents a pound.

The mission, in partnership with the Bay Area Food Bank in Milton, buys food from the grocery stores, Missions Director Jimmy Smith said. Church members’ weekly tithes and offerings help fund the food's purchase. The mission also receives donations of government commodities.

Almost 1,100 needy people monthly rely on the mission’s food bank, so the organization established a daily two-hour distribution schedule, parceling out food and clothing between 10 a.m. and noon Mondays through Fridays.

“We let people come the day or week that’s convenient to them,” Smith said.

The mission daily serves between 50 and 60 people. For the homeless, volunteers prepare bags of ready-to-eat food that doesn’t require cooking.



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