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Hot meals headed to Panama City

Locals plan to feed 300 storm victims

After hearing about a canned food drive while riding around, Andalusia, locals Dana and Kyle Barefoot have rallied a team to provide Thanksgiving meals to Hurricane Michael victims in Panama City on Thursday.

Dana and Kyle Barefoot

“I was just riding in my car one day and I heard something about a canned food drive,” Barefoot said. “They were talking about people not having anything to eat during the holidays and I just had a thought that that is something I have never had to worry about. So I started thinking if I could get enough support I would like to help the people down there.”

Barefoot said that the support has been overwhelming.

“We have about 20 people volunteering to go down there with us on Thursday to help pass out the meals,” Barefoot said. “The support has been absolutely overwhelming. We have lots of donated canned goods, people cooking and now we are taking blankets, scarves, gloves and things like that to keep people warm, because there are still some people living in tents.”

Barefoot said that finding a neighborhood in which to distribute food and other goods was a complete God thing.

“I saw a post on Facebook from a person that I didn’t even know,” Barefoot said. “I then reached out to her and she put me in touch with the city manager. Then he got me in touch with the volunteer coordinator.”

The group will be spending their Thanksgiving hopefully feeding about 300 people, Barefoot said.

“It is a really awesome feeling to take time out of your holiday to provide for these people,” Barefoot said. “Not only me, but the entire group will be spending their Thanksgiving Day with these victims. It is truly heartwarming and I think we will get more out of it than the people receiving the food.”

Elizabeth Griffin has been helping Barefoot with a lot of the logistics.

“Without Elizabeth I don’t know if I could have done it,” Barefoot said. “She has been great. There are so many people that have helped out. We have had hundreds of donations and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Straughn Elementary School also had a canned food drive for this service project.

“The kids at Straughn Elementary were so excited to be able to help,” Barefoot said.

Barefoot plans to deliver a complete Thanksgiving meal to the Panama City neighborhood, including ham, dressing, mac and cheese, sweet potato casserole, green beans, corn casserole, drinks and desserts.