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When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Volusia County and thousands of residents lost their jobs, Halifax Urban Ministries (HUM) saw its requests for food assistance skyrocket.

Staff and volunteers from the faith-based nonprofit stepped up to the plate and expanded the agency’s Feed-a-Family program by coordinating a massive food distribution initiative. For the past two months, they have been gathering at Volusia County’s Ocean Center to fill grocery bags for those in need.

But the need continues, and HUM needs more volunteers.

The team is seeking 60 to 80 volunteers to pack grocery bags from 2 to 4 p.m. every Tuesday through September at the Ocean Center, 101 N. Atlantic Ave., Daytona Beach. Each week, volunteers pack up to 2,000 bags and load them onto distribution trucks.

“Our staff does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, but our efforts rely on volunteers,” said Buck James, HUM’s executive director. “It takes a lot of people to pack the food and get it ready for distribution.”

Free parking is available in the parking lot on the west side of the Ocean Center. Volunteers must wear a face mask and gloves. They will have their temperatures checked.

For more information about volunteering, contact Tina Davis at Tina@HalifaxUrbanMinistries.org or 757-754-6815.

HUM is also seeking monetary and food donations to help those in need. Donations may be mailed or dropped off at 1340 Wright St., Daytona Beach; or 524 N. Dixie Freeway, New Smyrna Beach.

HUM’s mission is to prevent homelessness through emergency assistance and intervening on behalf of homeless people.