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"Take-and-bake" drive-thru provides meals to 800 restaurant workers and family members in Ocala

(WCJB)
Published: Apr. 11, 2020 at 11:11 PM EDT
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Organizations and volunteers from across North Central Florida came together in Ocala Saturday evening to help those in the restaurant industry who have been affected by COVID-19.

First Baptist Church, Prestige Auto Sales, and Mojo’s in Ocala gave “take-and-bake” meals to around 800 people whose family members have been laid-off due to the on-going pandemic.

Over 46,000 pounds of food were provided by several businesses including Chick-Fil-A, Publix, non-profit His Compassion as well as event organizer Mojo’s.

“That’s kind of unheard of, right? For kind of…different churches and rival restaurants to come together, but that’s Marion County; that’s what we do here,” explained Rondo Fernandez, the owner of Mojo’s. "Marion County is just such a giving community...I mean, it’s the most giving community I’ve ever been in. Usually we just have to post something and everybody just rallies together and just supports their own…and today was a day to rally together and support the restaurant and hospitality industry.”

Employees and their families were given a wide variety of items such as Chick-Fil-A chicken breasts, fresh pasta and bread, produce, canned goods, cereal and much more.

The event only ran for two hours, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., but by the end of those two hours nearly all of the food had been given away.

Fernandez says there will be more events like this in the future to help the community.

“We’re going to be doing these types of events as long as it takes until this thing is over,” said Fernandez.

If you’re interested in donating to those in need in Marion County or would like to become involved in events like this, send an email to give@OneMarion.com