|Published:||Mar 15, 2013 9:31 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Mar 15, 2013 9:39 PM EDT|
CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - A Charlotte County food bank that has helped the needy for three decades suddenly closed this week with little explanation.
Now those who relied on Good Samaritans are wondering why nothing was done to save the pantry.
"They've been around a long time, they came in handy when times were rough," said Joseph Rizzuto.
The Punta Gorda resident said he rode 12 miles on his bike to reach Good Samaritans, only to be met with this sign that says, "After 30 years of caring and serving we no longer can financially keep the doors open."
Rizzuto, along with about 1,200 other area residents, depended on the organization every month for food and other services.
"I've seen a huge increase in the demand for the services we provided. It's been phenomenal for the residents who need our services," said Josie Regan.
Volunteers like Regan say no one, not even Executive Director Dianne Munson knew the pantry was being shut down on Monday.
"We're going to close the doors today and if you need to come back, you need to call me for an appointment, they changed the locks," said volunteer Tiny Ricciuti.
According to data from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the non-profit was struggling and spending more than what they were taking in.
But volunteers and community partners say a little warning would have gone a long way.
"I think that if the extent of the problem had been known to all of the volunteers and all of the organizations that supported that effort, we probably could have done something and saved it," stated Dave Prins with Burnt Store Presbyterian Church.
Wink News did reach out to the board members responsible for the decision, but did not hear back in time for this newscast.
Food and other items donated to Good Samaritans was given to Saint Vincent de Paul Society and Charlotte Homeless Coalition.
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