Local community center helps food insecurity problem in Bay County

A lot of small communities in our viewing area struggle with food insecurity. We are taking a closer look at the needs and the Thanksgiving events set up to hel
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 9:28 PM CST
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FOUNTAIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The holiday season is all about feasts. But a shocking number of people, right here in our local community, struggle to figure out where their next meal will come from.

A family feast can cost money and this Thanksgiving one local community wants everyone to enjoy a hot meal without the high cost.

“Part of the reason is because of everybody is struggling right now with anything and everything, inflation and prices of everything so that is got a lot involved,” Richard Hathorn, secretary for Green Hills Community Center, said.

The Green Hills Community Center is hosting a free community meal, with plans to serve hundreds on Thanksgiving day.

“Free Thanksgiving dinner for the community here in fountain and anyone is welcome its a free dinner were having all the trimmings,” Hathorn said.

Reports from the group “Feeding America” shows Bay County has a 15% food insecurity rate.

That means there are around 27,300 people who do not know where their next meal will come from. That is almost 38% higher than national average.

That’s where community support and caring neighbors can make a difference.

This is the sixth year the group has hosted the hot meal. Typically it happens the weekend before Thanksgiving, but this year it’s different.

“This is the first year we have decided to do it on Thanksgiving Day because of other people asking us well there’s other people that don’t have family to be able to do stuff with,” Hathorn said.

Friends are like family in this close-knit community, where they will be willing to serve anyone in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

“If you’re hungry show up were not going to turn anyone away by no means,” Hathorn said.

After your free meal, you can also buy a to-go plate for $5.

That money will go to the community center so they can keep providing other meals to those in need.