PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — Thanksgiving is a time to come together and show gratitude, and local community members are doing so by supporting one another through Project Feeding our Homeless and Hungry.
Volunteers met Thursday to give away food in front of the New Beginning Assembly of the Saints Church in Panama City.
Thanksgiving might hold a different meaning for all of us but Machell Akins is thankful for the situation she came from which has made her see the bigger picture.
“A lot of people that know and see me now, they wouldn’t have known that I was once in this particular situation as well myself,” Akins said. I didn’t have to be outside, but I lived in a car. I know what it feels like to be homeless and to be helpless.”
About 20 years ago, Akins found her calling, but it was not until this year her dreams came to fruition.
“As of this month it has been almost a year since I have been serving the homeless, and the hungry on the last Saturday of every month,” said Akins.
This month she said she wanted to serve on Thanksgiving.
“It was a total change because I had cooked my Thanksgiving dinner and cooked this because I do all the cooking,” she said.
Making enough to serve over 150 people, Akins has spent the past few days gathering supplies needed for Thanksgiving Thursday.
“It’s just a little something to show them that they are still loved, and they are not forgotten,” she said.
Akins said people need hope and she wants to be that for someone.
“It means more than I can even say to give people a little bit of encouragement and something to bring a smile to their face and let them know that somebody else does care about them,’ she said.
In the future, Akins hopes to find a more permanent location to feed those in need but for now, she will continue to travel to do so on the last Saturday of every month.
If you want to volunteer or learn how to help Akins with her outreach you can reach her at (850) 730-9304.