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Cafe of Life gives away hundreds of backpacks filled with supplies to kids in need

On Monday, a Bonita Springs park was packed with hundreds of kids waiting to get a free backpack for school filled with supplies and new clothes.

And for families unable to travel, the Cafe of Life brings support to their front door.

Volunteers started the Cafe of Life in 1998 when they served coffee and donuts to the homeless population. They have expanded since then.

“We serve anybody that shows up regardless of need or income,” Jeff Nichols, Cafe Of Life Director said.

All are welcome to enjoy the food, clothing, and other services the non-profit provides through donations and volunteers, even if they can’t travel to the cafe.

“There are people that can’t get here because they have too many kids with them or don’t have reliable transportation or are too far away, so we have an outreach program that goes out into these communities…mostly trailer parks and connects with the people there,” Nichols said.

They even added job training programs to transform lives, which helps power people to rise from poverty, and give back.

“One of the exciting things we have happening in our outreach program is we have two women support groups teaching women to sew so they can empower them to do more than a hands out,” Board of Directors member, Marietta Bala said.

The Cafe of Life says it serves about 18,000 hot meals each year, and anyone is welcome to those services, Monday- Friday at Leitner Park.

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Lincoln Saunders
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