Palmetto Bay Councilmember Patrick Fiore conducted his second annual food drive to benefit low-income families in the village on Nov. 22 with help from Publix and Christ Fellowship Church.
“I had my first one last year and I do it in conjunction with Christ Fellowship’s Thanksgiving food drive, where they prepare food boxes,” Councilmember Fiore said. “Mostly it’s dry goods and canned goods, mashed potatoes in a box, vegetables, stuffing, which the volunteers at the church collect and prepare. Then I worked with the local Publix to get the turkeys donated.”
The councilmember got an assist from Vice Mayor-Elect John DuBois and from Dale Danks, one of the food drive coordinators of Christ Fellowship Church. Fiore said that he, DuBois and Danks visited about a dozen families in Palmetto Bay and the deliveries took a little more than an hour and a half to make, mostly in apartments and a few private homes.
“I provided the names of the families, some I knew from last year’s drive,” Fiore said. “I try to concentrate on low-income and fixed-income people, a lot of them seniors. All of them in Palmetto Bay.”
Fiore said that when DuBois heard about the project he asked to go along and help out with the deliveries.
“John is involved in a lot of charitable stuff,” Fiore said. “He’s on the board of Camillus House, Educate Tomorrow and other organizations. John does a lot for the less fortunate in not only our community but all of Dade County.”
Danks, who with other volunteers of Christ Fellowship Church, delivers food boxes with turkeys bought by the church to about 600 people around Miami-Dade County, said he was glad to work with Fiore to reach those in need in Palmetto Bay.
“He wants to help his community and we were more than willing to give him a hand with that,” Danks said. “I do a food ministry every month to more than a hundred families.”
Fiore said that seeing the appreciation of the people receiving the food boxes made the effort worthwhile. He noticed that many of the people, especially those living in apartment complexes, tend to feel left out or forgotten this time of year, so the food drive is important to him.
“It’s something that I started doing to give back to the community and help the less fortunate people,” Fiore said. “When I was campaigning in 2010, walking around, I got to see areas of the city that a lot of people don’t know exist or ever go to, and I saw where there was a need.”