San Carlos Park man continues serving free meals a year since pandemic’s onset

A neighbor’s good deed continues to feed his community a year since the beginning of the pandemic.

Carlton Crabbe started cooking for hungry families in March 2020 when the pandemic took a toll on jobs and livelihoods of families.

A year later, Crabbe is still handing out plates of food for anyone who needs one.

When people pass Carlton Crabbe’s San Carlos Park home, they often look twice at the sign in his driveway.

“I even have people that come in here and say, ‘It’s not free. What’s the catch?’’” Crabbe explained. “I say, ‘Can you read? The sign says free food.’ I’m just trying to help out. That’s all.”

Crabbe says he started cooking up free food at the beginning of the pandemic when he saw a need to feed.

“How would you like it to go home without eating?” Crabbe said. “It’s not a good feeling, and I don’t think anybody should have that feeling.”

Crabbe takes money out of his own pocket to prepare a feast for his neighbors and strangers who stop by.

“I would start with hamburgers and hotdogs, and now I did ribs one night,” Crabbe said. “I do pizzas some Tuesdays. We do tacos. I do fajitas.”

Miranda Ball says she stops by every week to pick up her plate.

“You don’t really find that many people trying to do things out of the goodness of their heart like that,” Miranda Ball said. “This community is blessed to have Carlton, and the food is incredible itself too.”

Crabbes says he’s fed thousands and spent thousands, but not all by himself. Friends and neighbors and strangers have all pitched in.

“The community has really stepped up, so I get donations. I get goodies,” Crabbe said. “Money isn’t even the issue here, you know? It’s really feeding the people who are hungry.”

Crabbe passes out meals Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. He also fixes bikes and donates them to people in need. Crabbe says he is retired and does all of this with money he saved up from working at Publix. He says everyone is welcome to stop by and pick up a plate. He does not plan to stop doing that anytime soon.

“My thing is to feed as many people as I can as long as I can,” Crabbe said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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