Pharrell steps in to help local organization feed neighbors

Local News

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Two weeks ago, shared the story of Mercy Drops Dream Center. It’s a non-profit in Portsmouth that hands out food and meals to residents of three neighborhoods in the city.

After our story aired, things have really taken off, but the organization still needs your help.

Joe Friszolowski of Mercy Drops Dream Center says World Central Kitchen reached out to him. World Central Kitchen in an organization that feeds people hot meals, worldwide, when they need it most. World Central told Joe, after our story, Pharrell’s people reached out to the organization.

They said because Something in the Water is canceled this year, Pharrell wants to give back to the community. Joe says this has been a huge boost. He says World Central Kitchen paired up Mercy Drops with Roger Browns, a popular restaurant in Portsmouth. Because of all of this, Joe says they have been able to hand out close to 590 hot meals each week to the three communities they serve in Portsmouth.

He also says’s story has prompted donations from all over Hampton Roads, when they used to mainly come in from Portsmouth. He says the food staples like ramen, peanut butter and jelly, and easy mac continue to roll in, but in order to continue handing out their fresh groceries, Mercy Drops Dream Center needs a walk-in freezer.

“We have no freezer space here. We don’t have the electrical for it. So, with the amount of food that we’re going to do, we’re going to need a walk-in freezer and we’ve been looking at that, and that’s a nice price, that’s probably about 20 grand, and then you’ve got to work with electrical. So, that’s really our next step to continue to feed people for the next three or four months,” says Joe.

Joe says they plan to feed people beyond that time and he hopes they can branch out to feed more neighborhoods as well. In the meantime, if you can donate a walk-in freezer, or would like to make a monetary donation to Mercy Drops Dream Center, click here.

The organization always needs non-perishable food items as well. Joe says the appreciate that those donations continue to roll in.

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