The city of Fort Myers code enforcement board is ordering the closing of a busy food pantry, because of parking and traffic problems. St. Vincent de Paul pantry says it erves about 700 families a week.
The pantry, just west of of City of Palms Park near downtown Fort Myers, has grown into one of the biggest free food operations in Lee Co.
But some people park their cars in the street, while gettng bags of food. It has led to complaints and concerns from code enforcement.
At a meeting in Fort Myers, the code enforcement board members scolded the pantry operators.
One asked, where is your responsibility to keep the streets clear? Another said, the parking and traffic problems create a safety hazard for neighborhood residents. Another board member urged the pantry to find a bigger space, with adequate off-street parking, somewhere else.
The board voted unanimously to shut down the pantry July 11. It faces fines if it does not comply.
Pantry volunteer Kiccia McCoy says of the place: "A lot of people are going to go hungry if they shut this down."