Food For The Poor Donates $10,000 Each to Two Local Charities, Helps Struggling Families Have a Happy Thanksgiving

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2021) The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the supply chain and food prices across the nation, making it more challenging for families already struggling financially to put food on the table this Thanksgiving. Food For The Poor helped to make the burden a little lighter on Wednesday by presenting $10,000 checks to Essie "Big Mama" Reed, of Team of Life, Inc., in Broward County, and Dr. Bishop Astley Rhoden, of the Liberty Movement Ministry in Palm Beach County.

Presented by FFTP President/CEO Ed Raine at the FFTP headquarters in Coconut Creek, the checks will go toward purchasing turkeys, toys and other items to make the holidays brighter for families struggling to make ends meet. This act of generosity follows a longstanding tradition by FFTP to support both charities in their holiday food distribution.

"We are approaching Thanksgiving, and this is a time of great joy for families, but not for all families when they are struggling," Raine said. "We really treasure the fact that these ministries continue to serve - especially during these trying times when so many are in need. On behalf of Food For The Poor and all the donors who support us so generously, we are delighted to help the local community in this very special way. We hope this contribution will help those who would have no other source of support this holiday season."

Dr. Rhoden's Liberty Movement Ministry has been feeding homeless people, the elderly, and struggling families in West Palm Beach and neighboring communities in Palm Beach County for more than a decade, not only at Thanksgiving, but all year long. He expects to purchase 500 turkeys with the donation and, coupled with other assistance, his organization will feed more than 3,000 people. In previous years, the ministry's food bank was represented by Pastor Norman "D.C." Perkins, who passed away in July 2020.

"The loss of D.C. has had an impact, not only in West Palm Beach, but all over the world," Dr. Rhoden said. "Because we want to keep his memory alive, we named the Thanksgiving turkey giveaway in his honor... his legacy will continue to live on, not only in my life, but in many, many, many lives all over the world."

Pastor Perkins' wife, Dionne, and their 18-year-old son, Deondre, accompanied Dr. Rhoden to FFTP headquarters to celebrate his longstanding commitment to serving the community and to continue his good work.

"I'm just thankful for the legacy that is continuing in my husband's name and I'm grateful to Food For The Poor for their support," Dionne Perkins said. "This was his passion. It's just the way he lived - he loved giving to the community. My husband is smiling in Heaven right now."

Her son echoed her comments.

"My father had a heart like no other and was dedicated to providing help for his community," Deondre Perkins said. "If anyone needed a helping hand, my father would be more than willing to help that individual and that individual's family. This turkey drive is one of the many legacies that he left behind, and it allows us to truly commemorate the work he has done for thousands of people."

The Norman "D.C." Perkins 2021 Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway will be Monday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Liberty Movement Food Pantry, 1301 53rd St., Units #5 and 6, Mangonia Park, Fla., 33407. Due to social distancing, recipients are asked to drive up and remain inside their vehicles to receive their turkey and a food basket.

Essie "Big Mama" Reed and her Team of Life ministry also are receiving a gift again this year. Big Mama has been serving families in South Florida for several decades, but she's most known for her generosity during the holiday season and her turkey giveaways for Thanksgiving.

"I want to thank Food For The Poor for the love you have for the community and for helping me and the Team of Life," Big Mama said. "My goal is to continue to serve as long as God gives breath in my body to do his work. It's been special to be part of Food For The Poor for many years. For many years, I have been able to call on them and they have been right there, never saying no, and we have been able to feed all of these people over the years."

Team of Life will begin distributing turkeys and trimmings on Tuesday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m., at 2136 NW Eighth St., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 33311. Recipients are asked to drive up and remain inside their vehicles to receive their Thanksgiving gift box.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for vulnerable children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit

Ernestine Williams

Public Relations