Crestview food distribution set for Saturday

Local church, 7thSFG(A) to give away 10K pounds of food

Brian Hughes | Special to the News Bulletin/USA TODAY NETWORK

CRESTVIEW — The First United Methodist Church will hold a local food distribution, providing 10,000 pounds of food donated by Feeding the Gulf Coast, FUMC volunteer coordinator Kristen Sallberg said.

Food will be distributed until it is all given away or there are no more recipients in line.

The event begins with lineup at 8 a.m. May 15 at Spanish Trail Park, Stillwell Boulevard, Crestview.

Vehicles should enter the park at the Stillwell Boulevard gate. The distribution will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. Recipients must present an ID showing Florida residency to receive food.

Crestview Mayor JB Whitten sponsors the food drives and expressed the city’s appreciation for the church’s assistance to local residents who need a little help stocking their pantries.

“Even as the economy gets back to normal and people are returning to work, we know there are still families that need assistance,” Whitten said. “We’re glad to be able to facilitate the First United Methodist Church and Feeding the Gulf Coast helping Crestview families out.”

First United Methodist Church volunteers check recipients’ Florida identifications during a February food distribution in Crestview’s Spanish Trail Park. The church plans a May 15 food giveaway.

Most of the churches in the Florida part of the First United Methodist Alabama-West Florida District — which covers Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Escambia counties — use their church facilities for their distributions, Sallberg said.

“But they are doing fewer pounds of food — usually 5,000 pounds. Here in Crestview, we are able to work with the city to get the Spanish Trail Park amphitheatre, therefore allowing us to do 10,000 and 15,000 pounds of donations at one time because we have a larger facility,” she said.

Volunteers from the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) help church members pack and hand out the food during the FUMC distributions.

“Their guys have been incredible helping us out,” Sallberg said. 

This is the church’s fourth Crestview distribution, making a total of 40,000 pounds distributed locally since January.

“The Crestview mayor, police department, and Parks and Recreation Department employees have all been instrumental in getting this to work!” Sallberg said.