The Reason for the Season

Hunger is the great demoralizer. 

It has a negative impact on everything it touches and destroys nations, and families, with the same ugly efficiency. 

I’m not talking about missing lunch. 

The growing problem of chronic malnutrition has adverse impacts on every aspect of a person’s life – the ability to concentrate, to focus on school and work, fatigue, dehydration, lack of sleep, medical, emotional, and psychological problems – and the feelings of worthlessness, anxiety, and irritability that can lead to domestic violence – even suicide.

During this foul year 2020, where fear, and the natural disaster of government’s ham-handed political involvement in a dire public health crisis, has resulted in many losing their businesses and livelihoods, a problem complicated by a horribly broken Florida unemployment system, and a Congress that has not missed a paycheck, yet feels comfortable passing on a paltry $600 bucks in “relief” to those who desperately need help – and those who do not.

According to a report compiled by Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, almost 102,000 of our neighbors in Volusia County face food insecurity – defined as being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food – unable to meet basic dietary needs consistently.

That’s one in five people here on the Fun Coast. . . 

The pandemic did not start this problem – it intensified it – and those we have elected to stop the insidious creep of hunger and poverty – to establish real economic development, support small business, and add sustainable jobs – seem to think having their picture taken behind a steam table at a homeless shelter gives the impression they are “doing something” to alleviate this crisis. 

Fortunately, there are true angels among us.

Gloria Max, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Volusia and Flagler Counties, the nonprofit organization that operates the Jerry Doliner Food Bank, continues her tireless efforts to provide sustenance – and hope – to those less fortunate in our region.

Unfortunately, the 80-year-old is battling Stage 4 peritoneal cancer, yet she remains committed to helping those less fortunate in our community. 

In October, Gloria Max was honored with The Daytona Beach News-Journal’s “2020 Most Influential Woman of the Year” award for her exemplary volunteerism, incredible generosity, and extraordinary leadership. 

But for Ms. Max, its not about awards and accolades – unless they call attention to those community needs she serves – as her work continues to inspire others to give of themselves to help others.

Now, this inspirational force in our community needs our help.

According to an urgent appeal by Ms. Max:

“At the last minute, the Federation was notified that an organization, which was contributing food for our Christmas meals to families in need, would be unable to assist us this year due to the pandemic and the churches being closed for health reasons.

We have already reached out to economically disadvantaged families who come to our Food Bank regularly and put them on our list to receive a turkey, side dishes, fresh produce, and other groceries for a holiday meal. Now, we have only weeks to raise the funds to provide some of these food items for hundreds of holiday meals for our clients.”

Clearly, the need is exceptional this year. 

If you can help, checks can be sent to the Jerry Doliner Food Bank, COVID-19 Emergency Appeal, 470 Andalusia Avenue, Ormond Beach, Florida, 32174 – or online at:

According to Ms. Max, “One hundred percent of your donation will go to purchase food for families in need because the Jewish Federation absorbs all administrative expenses. We help low-income families, regardless of race or religion.” 

Families and individuals interested in receiving food donations should schedule an appointment immediately by calling 386-672-0294.

Thank you, Gloria Max – your selfless efforts to reduce suffering and bring hope exemplify the reason for the season. 

Photo Credit: The Ormond Beach Observer

4 thoughts on “The Reason for the Season

  1. God Bless you for your kind comments about Gloria Max. I met her many years ago through a service organization that I was associated with. She never ceased to amaze me. No matter what faith you are it never matters to Gloria. She and her husband have helped feed thousands in our community over the years. Her giving spirit is an inspiration. God Bless and heal you, Gloria.


  2. I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Gloria Max; however, she is inspirational. A friend of mine who didn’t need his 1st check from the government donated it to her food bank. You’ve inspired me to forward a check as well. Although we’re not doing as well as we normally do, we have been very lucky and blessed throughout this COVID situation and have had food, water, electric, clothing on our bodies, and a roof over our heads. For these unfortunate souls who cannot say that, I will be happy to make a contribution. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!


  3. Beautiful piece, beautifully mis-titled. Great cause, but actually “Reason for the Season” (the birth of Christ, and by way of, Salvation) totally ignored. Thought you were coming around a bit my sweet, yet spicy toungued Barker-but I guess not yet, lol. ❤️🙏🏽✝️


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