Florida charity feeds the masses in Ventnor

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Megan Hart, the calvary coordinator for Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown, leads the volunteers in group prayer before the distribution begins. Megan Hart, the calvary coordinator for Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown, leads the volunteers in group prayer before the distribution begins.

VENTNOR – Nearly 90 volunteers were working around the clock Monday to fill the needs of the local community by distributing 50,000 meals here.

Bob Bostic, executive director of Deliver the Difference of Lake County, Fla., and his organization of volunteers had packaged the meals over the course of about four hours Saturday, Nov. 10. Driving through the night, Bostic got to Ventnor in the early hours Monday, Nov. 12 for the distribution center later that day.

Bostic, formerly of Ocean City and now a resident of Mount Dora, Fla., said 250 people were packaging the food in Florida on Saturday. They also received donations of cleaning supplies, bottled water and diapers to distribute in Ventnor.

Bostic said each prepackaged meal is a rice and bean casserole that feeds a family of six and is ready to be heated in boiling water for six minutes. People who have three or fewer people in their family were given three packages, and those with four or more received six.

With the coordination of the distribution center already set up at the community building, people in need could walk away with food, clothing and supplies for their families.

“We’re ready to give it all out,” Bostic said. “Basically, this is what we do.”

He said the organization responds to disasters in the United States and around the globe by preparing and delivering meals to the people most affected.

The cost of making the meals and driving the trucks to New Jersey from Florida is about $20,000, he said; some of that was being defrayed by making T-shirts and selling them at the distribution center.

When the volunteers started arriving at the Ventnor Community Building before 8 a.m., there were already people waiting for the distribution to begin.

There were 87 volunteers working by 10:30 a.m. when distribution started. About 30 were from Ventnor, and the remainder came with service organizations in the area and beyond. The group expected to distribute all 50,000 meals by 4 p.m. Monday.

“It’s amazing,” said Ventnor Police Capt. Doug Biagi, who has been coordinating the distribution center at the community building for more than a week. “These people don’t even know us and travel thousands of miles to give and they don’t ask for anything.”

The entire distribution was made possible through the coordination of Rev. James Macabeo, pastor of the Way of Life Assembly of God church in Ventnor and Rev. Jamie Morgan from the Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown.

Megan Hart, the Calvary coordinator for Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown said she began collecting donations on her front porch immediately after Hurricane Sandy. She brought 60 church volunteers with her on Monday. The Boys and Girls Club of Vineland brought a dozen volunteers.

“People ask for help and we just jump in and do it,” Hart said. “I couldn’t be happier with the response to come and volunteer here. This is what I live for, I live to serve.”

Biagi said when the distribution center closes later in the week, all the supplies that are left will be sent to communities in northern New Jersey and New York where they are needed most.

“Our motto is ‘Pay it north,’” Biagi said.

Macabeo said he and his volunteers were happy to do God’s work. “We are just letting ourselves be used by Jesus,” Macabeo said.

See www.deliverthedifference.org for information. 

Photos by Shaun Smith


Megan Hart, the calvary coordinator for Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown, leads the volunteers in group prayer before the distribution begins. Megan Hart, the calvary coordinator for Calvary Assembly of God in Williamstown, leads the volunteers in group prayer before the distribution begins.   Volunteers organize clothing donations for distribution. In the foreground is Barbara Baber of Pedricktown, a volunteer from the First Assembly of God Church in Pennsgrove; and in the background is Jamie-Lynn Whitmarsh of Vineland, a case manager for the Boys and Girls Club of Vineland. Volunteers organize clothing donations for distribution. In the foreground is Barbara Baber of Pedricktown, a volunteer from the First Assembly of God Church in Pennsgrove; and in the background is Jamie-Lynn Whitmarsh of Vineland, a case manager for the Boys and Girls Club of Vineland.   Volunteers organize donations for distribution Volunteers organize donations for distribution


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