The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall hosted the second ROCK the Pantries: A “DriveThru” Food Drive on May 16, which successfully collected 27,000 pounds of non-perishable food items from 630 vehicles and two bicyclists. The two food drive events, including one on May 9 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, included more than 20 volunteers from the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, United Way of St. Johns County, St. Augustine Beach Police Department and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office pitch in to collect and distribute 59,000 pounds of non-perishable goods from nearly 1,300 cars.
Nearly 20 local food pantries loaded up trucks and vans with the donated food at the end of each food drive. The volunteers collected donations directly from vehicles during the drive-thru, while maintaining proper social distancing guidelines. Beach 105.5 FM St. Augustine, the Bartram Trail High football team, and Latin Creations restaurant also donated their time and services to the cause. All volunteers were provided PPE by the St. Augustine Beach Police Department.
“During these past two weekends, I witnessed an outpouring of love from, and for, our community,” said Gabe Pellicer. “The cars and the donations just kept coming. I was so proud to be there serving with community leaders like the St. Augustine Beach Police Chief Rob Hardwick, former St. Augustine Police Chief Loran Lueders, St. Johns County Housing and Community Services Manager Joseph Cone, United Way staff, and the Amphitheatre and Concert Hall staff helping to take in donations from so many incredibly generous residents. I was truly amazed.”
Food pantries that benefited from community donations included the St. Francis House, the Betty Griffin House, St. Augustine Youth Services, Arc of the St. Johns, Home Again St. Johns, Epic Cure, Pie in the Sky, Celebration Lutheran Church, Christ’s Cupboard, Shepard’s Haven, the First Church of the Nazarene, the Sea Community Help Resource Center, the Family Worship Center, Emergency Services and Homeless Coalition, St. Johns Ecumenical Food Pantry, the Lighthouse Church of God and Catholic Charities.