NewsPinellas County

Actions

'Hand Up Pinellas' feeds people who are homeless

Volunteers made sandwiches at Gateway Subs
'Hand Up Pinellas' feeds people who are homeless
Posted at 9:30 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 12:39:10-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce invited a group of volunteers to feed the homeless in Pinellas County Monday evening.

The chamber of commerce formed "Hand Up Pinellas" to feed people who are hungry.

Volunteers met at Gateway Subs at 4 p.m. to make sandwiches.

The meals included a sandwich, water and chips. They handed out the meals at Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission in St. Pete.

"We feel it’s important to give back to people who have a little bit less, try to make their day a little easier," President and C.E.O. of Treasure Island & Madeira Beach Chamber of Commerce Barry Rubin said.

Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission feeds people who are hungry in Pinellas. They also offer a food bank and food pantry. The nonprofit started in 1988 in Pinellas County.

Schallon Alsbury was once homeless. She is now a staff member at Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission.

"It was kind of scary, but luckily, I just got lucky and I believe God was with me," Alsbury said. "I was homeless here for only a couple of days. I got really lucky and found everybody here."

Others have found a similar safe haven at Suncoast Haven of Rest Rescue Mission.

William Kfouri also works at the nonprofit.

"I'm grateful today because I didn't have an address for two to three months. It's not a normal way of life," Kfouri said. "There's good people around willing to help. They called me back four months ago. I'm cooking and driving."

The chamber of commerce plans to host more events.

The initiative was sponsored by "SpotOn," a software and payment company.

"Inside those bags are a sandwich, a bag of chips, a resource card and a bottle of water so it’s not just about giving somebody some food," Spot On Account Executive Eurich Griffin III said. "The resource card is some information that could allow them to get out of the situation of being homeless in the future. It’s just about helping one person at a time."