Access Flagler First celebrates 5th anniversary

Photo: Volunteer Judy Murgitroyde prepares boxes of food that include fresh fruits and vegetables.
June 3, 2016 – Access Flagler First has been bringing together social service agencies for those who need it for the past five years and is going stronger than ever.

“Azalea Health is the newest member in a long list of agencies that support Access Flagler First,” said Joe Mayer, community services director. “Most of the agencies have contributed to this one-of-a-kind program since its inception.”  

Commission Chair Barbara Revels, along with commissioners Frank Meeker and Charlie Ericksen attended the celebration on behalf of the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners.

“What a success that Flagler County has been able to participate in this program that was started by Janet Nickels (program manager for Flagler County Human Services) and Pastor Charles Silano of Grace Tabernacle Ministries,” Revels said. “The need is here in the community and we are lucky to have all of these contributing entities and agencies supporting it.”

Free goods, services and information such as: food, clothing, the federal WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutritional program, SNAP (food stamps) and phones are available at the event. Access Flagler is held from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Friday of every other month at Cattlemen’s Hall on the Fairgrounds.

“We provide food for about 350 families,” Silano said. Fresh fruit and vegetables were bagged and boxed along with dry goods and non-perishable food.

Ericksen regularly volunteers at the event.

“I like helping out,” he said. “It’s quite a production – really something to see people of all ages working together to help others. There is work to do and it gets done.”

Contributing agencies include: Access Wireless, AME Church, Azalea Health, Automated Health, Boys & Girls Clubs, Bread of Life – Free Community Suppers, Career Source of Flagler/Volusia Counties, Daytona Fresh Start Program, Disabled American Vets, Division of Blind Services, Early Learning Coalition, ElderSource, Experience Works, Family Life Center, Family Share, Flagler County Human Services, Flagler County Senior Services, Flagler Free Clinic, Flagler Technical Institute, Flagler Schools – TRAIL Transition Program, Flagler County Veteran Services, Florida Department of Children and Families SNAP, Florida Department of Health-Flagler, Florida/USVI Poison Information Center, Grace Food Pantry, Halifax Hospice, Imagine School, Kiwanis Club, Magellan Complete Care, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Palm Coast Lions Club Vision, Precious Hearts Foundation, Salvation Army, Seniors vs. Crime, Shine, Regis Smart Style Hair at Walmart, Stewart-Marchman-Act, The Pavilion Club, The Sheltering Tree, Veteran Marine Corps League 876, and Vocational Rehabilitation.

“It is very satisfying to help others,” said Judy Murgitroyde, who has volunteered at Access Flagler First for nearly two years. “Everyone here embraces our community.”