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Harry Chapin Food Bank continues mobile pantries, needs help in effort

Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida is working to help many people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The regional nonprofit set up mobile pantries that people can drive up in their cars to be served.

Harry Chapin Food Bank is providing 20 pounds of food per family with its mobile pantries.

“We just have people pop their trunk and put it right in there,” volunteer Mary Wozniak.

Wozniak told us she sees the need and is happy to help.

So many people lost their jobs,” Wozniak said. “We are so sad to see the long lines at many of our pantries, but we’re here to help.”

Since the coronavirus crisis hit, Harry Chapin Food Bank has increased the number of drive-through pantries per week all across Southwest Florida.

The goal for the nonprofit is to hand out 5,000 boxes of food. One of those boxes went to Laurie Lohse, who told us she’s grateful. Now, she’s not worried about providing for her daughter and her family.

“I came to pick up food for them,” Lohse said. “Were all missing our families so much.”

Lohse says she’s able to pick up the food because she’s not working as much these days.

“It is a great help. I miss seeing my daughter and my granddaughter and everything, and she’s got her in lockdown,” Lohse said. “So, this way I’m able to bring them some food.”

Lohse said the last time she was able to hug her granddaughter was three weeks ago.

“I saw her the other day, and we were about six feet apart,” Lohse said. “And she went to hug me, and I put my hands up.”

Volunteer Mary Wozniak told us food pantries are hurting during the pandemic because people are hoarding food, and grocery stores have to fill their shelves first. So, if you can help with a cash or credit donation, Harry Chapin Food Bank says that will go a long way in keeping up with demand.

Wozniak says the food bank is available for anyone who really needs it.

“We have to err on the side of helping people,” Wozniak said.

MORE: Donate to Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida

 

Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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