S.T.A.R.S, Unity United Methodist Church gives away free dinners

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EleSondra DeRomano, and Pastor Jim Nevel quickly give some dinners to one of the many people who drove through.

By Jurry Taalib-Deen
Journal Staff Writer

Standing Together Against Real Slavery, S.T.A.R.S and Unity United Methodist Church, held a dinner giveaway on Wednesday, December 9, at Unity United Methodist Church, 1910 E. Broadway.

People in need simply, drove up to the church and a volunteer, wearing a face mask, hands the meal to the motorist.

EleSondra DeRomano, executive director of S.T.A.R.S, has been involved in various charitable contributions for 16 years, including helping people escape human trafficking, she told The Toledo Journal.

“Just before the pandemic, we were feeding 150 people, twice a month. Now we do 300 meals, three times a week,” she said. “I’m thankful for two of our sponsors; the Hyatt family and the Toledo Community Foundation.”

Unity United Methodist Church isn’t the only place Ms. DeRomano ensures food is delivered to the public. Clark Methodist Church, 1131 Clark, will be passing out food beginning January 1, 2021 on Tuesday and Thursdays, from 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. and another location, in the Collingwood and Bancroft area, is also set as a future site.

“That future site, I have to thank Curtis Jackson, Sr. He said I can have the building as long as I use it for good; so I truly thank him for that opportunity,” Ms. DeRomano said.

Pastor Jim Nevel, senior pastor at Unity United Methodist Church, has been helping the homeless for 12 years, and saw that the work Ms. DeRomano was doing perfectly aligned with what he was doing. Plus, he lived for six years in an orphanage: something he says drives him to help others.

“EleSondra is like a sister to me, and I want to do as much as I can to help others,” he said.

Also assisting was Brenda McKitric Jackson. “Volunteering is a great opportunity,” she said. “This is from my heart, and it motivates me.”

“When my father recently passed, she was the main person helping me get through it,” said Raven Cleveland, about her stepmom, Ms. DeRomano. “I wanted to return the favor to her by assisting wherever I could, but, the more I got involved, the more I just loved it; now I do it to help others.”

To assure as many people can have a fulfilling Christmas, S.T.A.R.S and Unity United Methodist Church will be accepting all types of donations on Saturday, December 19, from 10 .a.m. until 7 p.m. at the church. Although there’s a designated day to drop off items, they’ll receive items before and outside of that date.

For more information on the specific wish list for December 19, or to find out about upcoming food drives, call Ms. DeRomano at 419.280.2451, or Pastor Nevel at 567.938.9816.