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First Coast Connect Interview with Belinda Ohmer & Delonda Morton

Feb 26, 2024

First Coast Connect interviewed Belinda Ohmer and her close friend Delonda Morton about how they united to create Love Lunches.


First Coast Connect:: Love Lunches
WJCT Public Media

In 2019, 24 year old Matt Watson died in a car accident. In his memory, his mother Belinda Ohmer, and her close friend Delonda Morton united to create Love Lunches, in recognition of his love cooking and helping others.

I’m joined by both of them now welcome to the program thank you belinda i’m so sorry about the loss of your son tell us a little bit about matt and how did he inspire you to create love lunches matt was a light whenever he stepped into the room he liv up the room he wanted everyone to be happy long love to cook and eat so our competition was cooking in a kitchen and talking just talking to each other and joking around with each other and saying which meal was going to be the best so when he passed we decided to do this organization we prayed up on it and it get led us to this um so what we want to do is continue in his honor the love the caring ing and giving and cooking and helping others and so did he get his love of cooking from you from cooking with you yes he did of course yeah did you have some favorite meals that you made together yes red beans and rice cornbread fried chicken banana pudding all the above he loved yes great uh and danda how did you become part of this organization how did you decide that this was something you wanted to partner with belinda on so before met transition we we’d always wanted to do something in the community and so we talked about different things and we were always going to do something and then when matt went home to be with the lord it was a wakeup call that um nothing is promised to us and out of love for matt and out of love for my sister belinda it was something that had to be done to make sure that his memory carried on and to make sure that she survived that i didn’t realize that you were siblings not just sisters in spirit in heart heart i got you i gotcha um and so what is love lunches what does it do and um what is its specifically like what’s its mission but what does it physically do so we feed the homeless once a month in st augustine on the fourth saturday of the month so our mission is to feed people to help people in his honor doing exactly what belinda do you know stated earlier so we have been feeding people for the last five years now we can’t believe it’s been five years but that’s exactly what we do where there’s a need we’re there uh we’ve gone up and down the streets out of the back of the car looking for people to feed toiletries whatever people need were there giving and so you started the organization almost right after absolutely oh absolutely we were determined that his memory would live on and to make sure that belinda was surrounded by love and that she got to keep mothering her baby and that’s what she does every single month when meals are prepared she’s being a mother to her baby and that’s what we’re doing i see that that’s emotional for you belinda and i i understand that um so do you make meals that are inspired by him any recipes that you try to make uh that he would have liked himself yes um red beans chicken and dumplings rice and gravy green beans so yes it’s just cu it if i’m feeding the soul that’s i’m i’m a happy place so where do you meet people in their need how how do you locate people who are you know need a meal where do you go so we teamed up with dining dining with dignity um um and that’s how we’re able to feed every four saturday of the month um at ed victor’s park and we feed from 5:30 to 63030 is it eddie vicker’s park in st aug and um or we used like we used to get in a car and drive around and we will find someone that needs food and have you noticed an increase or a decrease in the need in st john’s county in st augustine we have when we first started this we prepared 50 meals we had no idea what we were doing it was a little bag lunch so we started actually in downtown jackson now we feed anywhere from 55 to 60 people a month it’s increased we’re seeing more women we’re seeing more children um we have regulars that we know now that we’re establishing relationships with so there definitely has been an increase and so if somebody wants to get involved either to help you prepare food distribute food donate what what are the opportunities well they can go to our website and we have all the information there um where you can volunteer donate and see our schedule of where we will be um and also what we’ll be doing in the know through the year and what is the website it’s love- lunches okay love and and you work with other providing agencies or it mostly with dining with dignity like are you working with the county at all or the city no just independent independent any push fact that you’ve gotten for providing that service no not at all has it been generally well received yes yeah okay well um i want to thank you both for the work that you do and for being here today danda morton belinda om thank you both so much for being here thank you.