Local Nurse Cooks for the Hungry, Ministers the Word
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Local Nurse Cooks for the Hungry, Ministers the Word

Carey Hassell-Chambers is of Italian descent and comes from a big family. Her grandmother taught her how to cook. The Titusville resident also is a woman of God, who has been led by Him to minister to the hungry.

Hassell-Chambers, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at Royal Oaks Nursing and Rehab Center in Titusville, volunteers with multiple organizations that focus on feeding and caring for locals in need. As meal coordinator for Lifepointe Ministries’ CREW 29, she manages volunteers and food donations and prepares meals that feed hundreds in the community out of Titusville Civic Center.

The mother of two, grandmother, nurse, and cook does not want to see anyone go hungry. She also does not want anyone to go hungry for the Word of the Lord.

“I am showing them the love of Jesus,” Hassell-Chambers said. 

Lifepointe Ministries receives food donations from restaurants, organizations, and individuals to help create the meals for Thursday night Common Table, holidays, and inclement weather shelters.

“We get a lot of canned goods, eggs from people who have chickens, bread and pastries from Brevard charities,” said retiree Donna Lessard from Port St. John, a kitchen volunteer. 

KFC donates frozen food, Wawa donates breakfast sandwiches and donuts, and Kelsey’s Pizzeria and Eatery donates pasta and salad.

Because the Titusville Civic Center does not have an industrial kitchen, Hassell-Chambers begins preparing holiday meals the week before. On the actual holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, she starts cooking at 4 a.m. 

“I make the food and keep it in food warmers,” she said.

She also volunteers with The Blue Plaid Society, founded by Suzy Pereira, educating the community about illicit drug poisoning.

“The biggest focus is fentanyl poisoning,” Hassell-Chambers said. “People do not know they are getting it and two grains can kill someone. People may not be drug addicts. It’s just children who are trying something like a gummy bear. The biggest age group affected is between 12 and 22 years old.” 

Hassell-Chambers said the Lord led her to The Blue Plaid Society. She met Pereira at the “Under the Bridge” ministry at Sand Lake Park, with which Hassell-Chambers also volunteers.

After Pereira’s son died of fentanyl poisoning in November 2021, she founded non-profit The Blue Plaid Society. She underwent cadet training to become a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Special Ambassador. 

“My son always wore blue plaid shirts,” Pereira said. “We started the organization to educate about the danger of illicit fentanyl. It’s a huge epidemic. We are losing 100,000 people per year due to drug-related deaths and two-thirds are due to (illicit) fentanyl poisoning.”

As an ambassador, Pereira is able to distribute Narcan (naloxone) — an over-the-counter, life-saving nasal spray used to combat an opioid overdose — free of charge so that others can save lives. She has provided it to Hassell-Chambers, who has had to use it on several occasions at the inclement night shelters.

“One of our elderly men at the cold-night shelter took something, fell on the ground and stopped breathing,” Hassell-Chambers said. “I gave him Narcan and he started breathing again. Narcan is easy to administer. Anybody can do it. It can’t hurt you and can save a life.”

Whether cooking, ministering or administering life-saving remedies, Hassell-Chambers never hesitates to share her time, talents and compassion.

Learn More & Help

For more information on The Blue Plaid Society, visit blueplaidsociety.org or The Blue Plaid Society on Facebook.

From the Archives

March 1, 2024: CREW 29 Volunteers Always Ready for Homeless Outreach
Feb. 1, 2024: LifePointe Ministries Opens Doors to Homeless in North Brevard

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