James Pressley and Jason Smart-El set out to do something positive for the community.
What the two Pleasantville friends got from feeding more than 300 homeless and hungry this weekend was just the beginning.
A total of 325 people ate Saturday at Atlantic City’s Turning Point Day Center, a new building there to help the homeless and less fortunate opened by the Rev. Collin Days.
They gave out food, personal hygiene products and some hope to those who came during the two-hour event.
“All the thanks and hugs received from the people we served will forever be remembered,” Smart-El said.
“It was an amazing day and God be praised,” said Pressley, a church elder.
But, he said, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of too many friends and family members to name.
“I personally want to thank both my parents, Nichole Gupton and Jason Smart-El Sr., for being part of the event and volunteering their time.”
Contributions came from Pleasantville’s Popeye’s, Cedar Food Market #3 and Marco Polo Pizza, Domino’s Pizza in Northfield, WEHA 88.7, and Joe DeRosa, owner of Eastern Shore Physical Therapy in Linwood.
Tom Hannon, of the Atlantic City Housing Authority, donated food, drinks and his own supplies, Smart-El said.
Pressley said they were glad to give attention to the new Turning Point as well.
“Although your community day concluded (Saturday) and they need the community support especially since they do not have any funding,” he said. “I believe this is an extraordinary opportunity for local businesses that often complain about the homeless population panhandling.”
As for what’s next, Saturday was such a success that the two friends are now working on community events for the holidays.
Anyone who wants to help is asked to email Smart-El at firstname.lastname@example.org or Pressley at email@example.com.