Despite damage from Hurricane Sally, Epps Christian Center still a lifeline to the hungry

Kevin Robinson Pensacola News JournalPublished 4:08 PM EDT Sep 22, 2020Since Hurricane Sally hit last week, ho

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Since Hurricane Sally hit last week, hot meals have been few and far between for many of the community's neediest families.

Luckily, the Epps Christian Center was there Tuesday to dish out hot, homemade plates by the hundreds.

Pastor Sylvia Tisdale of Epps Christian Center, in partnership with Dianne Krumel, a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives District 2, served approximately 600 free spaghetti lunches Tuesday to anyone who was hungry, homeless or in hard times due to the hurricane.

"I was glad to be able to put a hot meal into people's stomachs, because when you can't find a hot meal, you really feel bad," Tisdale said.

Need a hot meal? List of Escambia County feeding sites that are open today

The Epps Christian Center has been feeding the needy for the past 14 years, and the center has become a pillar in the community that folks know they can always count on. 

Tisdale said, "the Dianne Krumel campaign contacted me and said they had some people who wanted to do something to try to give back to the community and help the people that was affected by Sally. They asked me if I would prepare the food, I said I would and they brought all the stuff that we needed."

The distribution was supposed to start at 10 a.m., but Tisdale said cars were already lining up by 8:30 a.m. so they started serving people immediately.

"We had a great group of volunteers, and people kept coming," Tisdale said.

The Epps Christian Center and Tisdale's church nearby both suffered some damage to the roof and siding. Tisdale said her deductible for the repairs would be about $9,000.

On the bright side, a new walk-in freezer that was purchased through community donations held up with no damage and no food loss, so Tisdale said she and her team would still be there in the mornings dishing out hot meals and hope.

"We're a lifeline," Tisdale said.

Kevin Robinson can be reached at or 850-435-8527.
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