CRESTVIEW, Fla., April 22, 2020—Crestview is coordinating citywide food distributions for families feeling the crunch of COVID-19 restrictions.
The first food giveaway is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday to be followed by another May 2.
The mayor’s office and city leaders are collaborating with Farm Share, a statewide food bank, as well as several local churches and area nonprofits as the community unites to address the problem of recently unemployed families struggling to make ends meet.
“A lot of people are hurting in our city,” said Mayor J.B. Witten. “This will help ease some of their burden by providing fresh food for their tables and allowing them to reallocate limited finances toward other pressing needs.”
Established traffic routes for vehicles to queue in advance of Saturday’s event have been established to allow customers not waiting for the food distribution to access the post office, Hancock-Whitney Bank, Okaloosa Ophthalmology and Eglin Federal Credit Union, all on Industrial Drive.
Commerce Drive will be closed to regular traffic during the food distribution.
Signage, police officers and event officials will direct drivers to either of two staging areas on the north and south sides of the Crestview Community Center by way of Commerce Drive.
After recipients’ vehicles have been loaded, they will then turn east and exit onto Farmers Street. All access to the food distribution will be from Industrial Drive.
To accommodate social-distancing, food will only be provided to drive-up customers. No walk-up service will be available and recipients may not exit their vehicles.
Screened, masked and gloved volunteers will load one allotment of food per vehicle.
To assure food is available for as many families waiting in line as possible, participants will not be able to pick up additional food for other households, organizers said.
Food distribution begins at 9 a.m. and will continue until supplies run out.
“It is really heartwarming to see the city pull together at times like these,” Whitten said. “So many city employees in different departments as well as citizens in our area churches and community organizations are all pitching in to make this huge project work.”
Whitten said another Farm Share distribution, in collaboration with Feeding the Gulf Coast, will occur in Crestview May 2.
Want to help?
Healthy residents ages 18 and older may email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to help package food 5-9 p.m. Friday and load food allotments in waiting vehicles 9 a.m. until supplies run out Saturday. Volunteers will be screened for illness symptoms.
Brian Hughes, public information officer, City of Crestview