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Zephyrhills nourishes the needy

On Tuesdays and Thursdays the homeless, needy and who ever else may be hungry can count on being able to get something to eat in Zephyrhills.

Brad Gibbs, who says he is 'just a helper' said "Everybody is welcome to eat, kids who are out there on bikes and skateboards come on in and eat." Gibbs is a friendly man who makes the rounds among the crowd and does his best to talk to everyone who comes in under the pavilion at Zephyr Park, located just steps behind the Waterpark area.

One of the members of the crowd was asked to say the blessing, as he had done previously, said Gibbs, as he invited the man to pray over the meal once again. Today there was a feast of sliced turkey, with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, sweet potato casserole, cauliflower and carrots, cucumber, onion, and tomato salad and a small side of parsnips for those who liked them. Brownies with frosting was for desert and there was plenty of iced tea and lemonade to drink.

A lot of the hungry people were there quite early waiting for the vehicles carrying the volunteers and the food to arrive. It was quite like any family environment with couples, singles,children, young adults and the elderly in attendance. And just like many family gatherings, there were arguments and hugs alike, making it feel just like holiday time at home.

Some of the people came from the nearby woods where they live, they are in and out of jobs and shelters, on and off of drugs, but the object is to feed the people who need to eat to provide them with a proper meal, to treat them with dignity and respect, as a part of a family here in Zephyrhills. That feeling is priceless to many of those who come here to eat.

Mr. Gibbs stated that this event was started over 20 years ago by a woman named Pat Sawyer and her daughter continued the ministry after her mother passed away. This is a wonderful thing for those in Zephyrhills who are hungry, who need the help, and for those who like the company of good people.