Domino’s Pizza delivered 12 carloads full of nonperishable food items to the Grace Community Food Jeff Dawsey Sports Editor

BOX: How much! Dominos’ Pizza donated a total of …..1,502 pounds, which will help supplement 150 families (525 individuals) for two weeks. That's over 1,600 meals.   If anyone was wondering if Domino’s Pizza decided to hold a pizza parade up U.S.1 on Monday evening, the answer is no. But yes, the 12-car convoy was carrying hundreds of pounds of food to the Grace Community Food Pantry for the unfortunate in Flagler County.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing,” said Charles Silano, the pantry’s chairman and pastor of Pastor of Grace Tabernacle Ministries International. “It’s such a wonderful community effort for any company to muster that effort to get everybody involved to bring 12 cars of food. So, I truly want to thank the Domino’s organization for thinking of us.”

After hearing how the pantry was quickly emptying, the restaurant chain connected with each of its 33 area restaurants, who held food drives for the month of April for this cause, and they all got together at a company meeting to personally hand off the food to one of North Florida’s largest food pantry.

“If there is something we can do on a Saturday morning, when people start lining up at 6 a.m., maybe we can hand out free slices of pizza to put something warm in our community’s bellies.”

PEGGY RICHARDS, Domino's Pizzas company director

We all have a program in our own stores where we give back to the community,” said Peggy Richards, Domino’s Pizza’s company director. “We sponsor a charity program every month and give them free pizzas and a certificate that says thank you for all you do in your community, so this our way of saying thank you to the food pantry for all that they do to support the Palm Coast community.”

Richards also said she hoped this would only be a continuation of support to the pantry and the community. When told the hours Palm Coasters line up for the free food on Saturday and Sunday, she said, “When people start lining up at 6 a.m., maybe we can hand out free slices of pizza to put something warm in our community’s bellies.”

Grace Community Food Pantry is located at 245 Education Way in Bunnell. Call 586-2653.

Domino’s Pizza has two Flagler Country locations, one is located at 219 Saint Joe Plaza Drive, and the other 111 Flagler Plaza Drive. Call 445-6500 or 439-0565.

Access Flagler First highlights local social services agencies: Published:  News Journal on line.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 5:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at 11:04 a.m.

The overarching message coming from the many social services agencies that participate in Access Flagler First is that there is help available for those who need it.
ElderSource brings a motor home for the every-other-month event, which is held at Cattlemen’s Hall at the Fairgrounds, to provide individual counseling, according to a media release.
SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) volunteers provide the “crown jewel” of services offered — advice about all of the insurance options for those who are turning 65.  The next event is planned August 7th from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday.
“There is help out there,” volunteer Vivian Rowe said in the media release. “We also help people do thing like apply for assistance if they need it. We are willing to do the secretarial work. We don’t make the decisions and we think that everyone who needs help should apply.”  Access Flagler First was started four years ago by Janet Nickels, program manager for Flagler County Human Services, and Pastor Charles Silano of Grace Tabernacle Ministries.
About 40 social services agencies have agreed to provide information and assistance.  TRAIL is part of the Flagler County School District and serves 18- through 21-year-olds with disabilities who are looking for employment.  “We help young people increase their daily living skills, and help them apply their skills to the real world,” said Kim Halliday, transition coordinator. “We focus on volunteer work. It equalizes the playing field. When we are here packing bags of food, we don’t look like people with disabilities. We are giving back to the community and they are learning skills that translate to the workplace.”
Nutritious food and “gently used” clothing is given out at each Access Flagler First.  More information and a full list of participants is available here:  “This is a one-of-its-kind program,” Joe Mayer, community services director, said in the release. “It’s very beneficial for our community.”  — Staff Report

Pastor Charles Silano of Bunnell will receive an Outstanding Community Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency Published July 15, 2015

Bunnell pastor to be recognized as 'outstanding community leader'

Flagler County resident Pastor Charles Silano, founder of Grace Tabernacle Ministries International, has been selected to receive an Outstanding Community Leadership Award from the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, according to a media release.

The nonprofit agency will hold its second annual awards and recognition luncheon beginning at noon July 23 at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. The luncheon will highlight the action agency's positive impact on low-income communities and also pay tribute to community partners who help the agency accomplish its mission, publicly recognize staff for exemplary performance and honor customers who became self-sufficient, the release states.

 Silano founded Grace Tabernacle Ministries International in 1998 and shortly afterward, the Grace Community Food Pantry was born. Their primary objective is to provide food to families and individuals in need. In addition, the organization provides clothing, limited financial assistance, and helps coordinate other social services, according to the release.

Silano is also a co-founder of Access Flagler, a semi-monthly event that offers free food, clothes, health screenings, haircuts and more to members of the community.

Veto, funding issues pinch health care safety net in Volusia, Flagler counties

Published: Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 8:39 p.m. Last Modified: Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 8:51 p.m. for the full story click here.

Though the economy has improved, families still scrape to get by in Volusia and Flagler counties, a tourist haven dependent on low-paying service jobs. A statewide study by the University of Rutgers- Newark found nearly half of Volusia and Flagler households struggle to pay for groceries, child care, rent and transportation.  

The Kids Count report — released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation — showed 24 percent of Florida children were living in poverty in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2008.

Although the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, has grown the ranks of the insured, thousands still fall into Florida's Medicaid coverage gap. State lawmakers turned away $50 billion in federal funding over the next decade that would have extended coverage further to more than 800,000 poor Floridians.

Republican lawmakers expressed concerns that accepting those federal funds would increase the size of a flawed Medicaid program, causing it to consume an even larger slice of the state budget. 

But Linda White, chair of Windward Behavioral Care's Board of Directors, sees a growing apathy toward society's less fortunate. 

"We've demonized people that are impoverished," she said. "We've turned the war on poverty into the war on people in poverty."

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Church food pantry takes over annual Feed Flagler effort

'The poor will always be with you'

By Matt Bruce

Published: Monday, November 9, 2015 at 5:19 p.m.

When Becky Bergeron began volunteering at the Grace Tabernacle Community Food Pantry two years ago, she was recovering from a broken back and had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

She said she was withering away until her husband dropped her off at the food center one day. Now she comes to the pantry twice a week and is one of more than 100 volunteers who work there year round, bagging groceries, stocking supplies and stowing deliveries.

“Because I'm working here, giving back to the community and working for the Lord, I feel so much better — 100 percent better,” she said.

Grace Community Pantry doled out about 1.5 million pounds of food to the homeless and families in need last year, and organizers anticipate going beyond that total this year. It runs off private donations from local grocers, church groups, former clients and other givers. The Palm Coast food bank will take the reins as the host of this year's Feed Flagler community food drive.

“We feel really blessed to be able to do it,” said Charles Silano, pastor of Grace Tabernacle Ministries. “It's one more thing to do, and it's a lot of work. But everyone who's involved in it, they're all excited.”

Silano began the pantry as a small operation when he founded the Palm Coast church in 1998. Now the pantry distributes about 30,000 pounds of food every weekend, primarily from its 3,800-square-foot storage facility just off U.S. 1 near Royal Palms Parkway.

Silano said his team began meeting in September to start planning for Feed Flagler. It's the seventh installment of the annual Thanksgiving food drive, which is aimed at providing a holiday meal for anyone in need. Flagler County government has coordinated each of the past six community efforts, but handed the lead role to Grace Community Pantry this year.

“As the Good Book says, 'The poor will always be with you,' and we have a responsibility as individuals to participate as best can,” Flagler County Commissioner Nate McLaughlin said.

The county is still participating as one of more than a dozen donor groups. McLaughlin said officials decided to step down from leading Feed Flagler because the county staff continues to grow busier as the economy picks up.

“It's been an exciting thing for the county to be involved in,” he said. “There are time constraints that (Silano) was able to fill and we're very excited about his willingness to stand up and fill that void.”

Collections are under way and the donated goods are scheduled to be dropped off Nov. 17-20 at the Cattleman's Hall on the Flagler County Fairgrounds. Volunteers will then sort the donated items and create family meal boxes to supply 10 Flagler County churches, which will serve as distribution centers. Each of the boxes will include a frozen turkey and non-perishable items necessary to complete a Thanksgiving dinner. The churches will distribute the meal boxes to families that signed up to receive them.

Silano estimated the effort will provide nearly 800 Thanksgiving dinners this year.

The United Way's Women's Initiative Flagler Chapter's Chicks with Cans won the Feed Flagler team challenge last year for the fifth consecutive time. The volunteer group collected nearly 30,000 pounds of food. Linda Mahran, who serves as the Women's Initiative's secretary, said the team has more than 40 volunteers this year and they began collecting cans outside Publix stores in mid-October.

“This helps out the families in need right here in Flagler County, and I think that is one of the things that makes it a great volunteering experience,” she said. “You also get to interact with members of our community. We hear a lot of interesting stories from the customers about their lives when they needed a helping hand, and now they're willing to give back.”

Free hot meals will be served to the homeless and anyone else looking to eat at four locations on Nov. 25 and on Thanksgiving Day.

“This is a need in this community and it's being filled by Feed Flagler,” Bergeron said. “Pastor Charlie really, really preaches the word of God. And he not only preaches it, he lives it. He says, 'Go feed your people,' and feeds the people.”

 July 10,2015

In 2014, Grace Community Food Pantry distributed 1,500,000 pounds of food to the less fortunate of Flagler County.  Over 2014, we provided food donations to nearly 157,000 recipients, with over 49,000 being children, 5,000 veterans and nearly 12,000 disabled.  That means that Grace Community Food Pantry distributed nearly 29,000 pounds of food WEEKLY, to over 3,000 Flagler County residents every week, impacting nearly 1,000 children living in our neighborhoods a week, helping 230 handicapped of our county citizens weekly...

 Ride for Food June 29, 2013

Palm Coast Community Church's PC3 Bikers are sponsoring their first annual Ride for Food to benefit the Grace Community Food Pantry. Registration starts at 8:30 with kickstands up at 9:30. It will be a 75 mile police escorted ride ending at Bings Landing for BBQ. Cost $20.00 for rider and $5.00 for passenger. For information call 386-264-8986 or email

The Golf Tournament raised enough money to purchase 10,000 lbs of food for the community.  Thank you all who participated and enjoyed a wonderful day of golf and community in support of the Grace Community Food Pantry