FORT MYERS, Fla.-On Friday, June 25th at Lehigh Elementary School, The Salvation Army will once again prepare to put its canteen (mobile feeding unit) into action. From 8am to 12 noon, the crew on the canteen will help serve hot lunches to families who are also eligible to receive groceries from the mobile pantry. For three designated Free Food Fridays, The Salvation Army will be out feeding children and families who are hungry or without food. The Free Food Fridays is collaboration between community partners like: The Salvation Army, United Way, Harry Chapin Food Bank, Lee County Schools and Community Cooperative Ministries Incorporated.
"Our community is still experiencing the effects of a struggling economy. Many of our neighbors and friends remain unemployed and under employed. Making ends meet is still an act of labor. During the school year, the majority of the kids are enrolled in the free or reduced lunch programs. Now that school is out, these families have to stretch their grocery dollars even farther," stated Major Tom Louden, Corps Officer for The Salvation Army of Lee, Hendry and Glades Counties.
This summer feeding program will give assistance to families who have children in the Lee
County School system. Over 67% of Lee County students are on the free or reduced meal plan. Over thirty Lee County schools have over 80% of their students on the free or reduced meal plan.
The Free Food Fridays and their locations are:
June 25 Lehigh Elementary School Canteen: 9am - 11am
200 Schoolside Drive Pantry: 9am -11am
Lehigh Acres, FL 33936
July 2 Bay Oaks Recreation Center Pantry: 4pm - 6pm
2731 Oak Street
Ft. Myers Beach, FL 33931
July 9 Cape Coral United Way House Pantry: 10am - 12noon
1105 Cultural Park Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
July 16 Alva United Methodist Church Pantry: 4pm - 6pm
21440 Pearl Street
Alva, FL 33920
July 23 Edisto Lake Apartments Canteen: 4pm - 6pm
Harlem Heights Pantry: 4pm - 6pm
10770 Clear Lake Loop
Fort Myers, FL 33908
July 30 Pine Island United Way House Canteen: 4pm - 6pm
5465 N.W. Pine Island Road Pantry: 4pm - 6pm
St. James City, FL
The Salvation Army canteen team will consist of a Salvation Army staff person and community volunteers. They will serve hot lunches or dinners according to the schedule. Also at the sites will be intake specialist who will assist families by connecting them to available community resources to help with other needs.