FORT MYERS, Fla.- One of the areas most popular food pantries will stay open. Saint Vincent De Paul in Fort Myers was on the verge of closing because of city code violations.
Safety concerns put the pantry in jeopardy after complaints recipients were parking in an unpaved lot and even in the street while picking up food on distribution day.
Over the last month, volunteers have made changes to come into compliance. They've installed new signs, and cordoned off areas to make sure customers follow the rules.
"We've been using two traffic supervisors if you will with a reflective vest and they're watching traffic, politely asking people to move. We've seen a lot of results," treasurer Ned Haile said.
On Thursday, the code enforcement board voted unanimously to allow Saint Vincent De Paul to operate and waive all fines. The organization could have been forced to pay $100 a day retroactive to June 13th.
Volunteers are relieved to be able to serve so many that rely on the pantry.
"We'll continue to feed about 800 people a week as we have. We're hoping that number would start going backward. It hasn't yet. There's still a great need there, so we're going to do what we can to fulfill it," Bernie Fettkether said.
The pantry has also recruited bi-lingual volunteers to help explain proper parking, and will place fliers on cars to remind customers of the policy.