A Polk County food pantry in Lakeland, Florida, received an outpouring of support after an arson attack destroyed the facility and its contents, including Thanksgiving staples. New Testament Ministries, located on S. Combee Road, was intentionally set on fire on November 15, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
In the days following the incident, the community rallied together to provide donations to help the pantry recover. Non-profit organizations, companies, and individuals came forward to offer assistance. Tampa-based Metropolitan Ministries donated 500 turkeys and boxes of food for side dishes, while Colorado Boxed Beef donated 208 turkeys.
Volunteers and donors expressed their empathy and desire to help those affected by the arson. Celeste Johnson, a Tampa resident, decided to donate food after seeing news reports about the incident. She stayed to assist with distributing the donated food when she witnessed the volunteers’ dedication.
Dais Abraham, the founder of New Testament Ministries, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support received. Up to 1,200 donated turkeys have been received since the arson, with any surplus being stored in freezers for future distribution.
The food pantry plans to resume its regular food distribution next Wednesday afternoon.