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Local non-profits step up to help community by providing food despite lack of donations

During this time when many aren’t working, our local non-profits have stepped up to the plate to help.

The greatest need in Southwest Florida? Food.

It outweighs paying bills and even health care, according to a survey taken during this pandemic.

We witnessed the need and the response first-hand.

Basic necessities and a line around the block on Michigan Link in Fort Myers of people waiting to get them.

“Thank you to the people right here. We really appreciate it. helping everyone going through this,” said Mariah Rendon.

“It’s a blessing for everybody, you know what I’m saying? Right now there aren’t any jobs, people aren’t getting food stamps or anything like that and they got family to feed,” said Franklin Fulton.

For Fulton, losing his job means worrying about feeding his kids.

“Normally, I wouldn’t even be doing this because I work, but right now, I don’t have a job,” he said.

That’s why volunteers like Laura Agnew with Catholic Charities spent the day helping out.

“Oh, the smiles, yeah, the smiles,” she said. “They wave, they’re happy that someone’s helping them, so that’s the best part for me.”

Michael Vega, who helped coordinate the effort, says he knows that food is the number one necessity in the community.

“We always knew that food was a need and we are very happy to provide that, but now that it’s turned into an immediate need, it’s great that we’re doing what we’re doing,” he said.

Even though donations are down, they pledge to do this as long as there’s a need.

“If anyone has any food insecurities whatsoever, please feel free to come by. We will take care of anyone. I do not discriminate at all. Please come by if you need help. The worst thing you can do is not look for it,” Vega said.

Catholic Charities is here to help.

Local non-profits have also created the Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund to help our community with basic needs like food and shelter.

For more information about the fund, click here.

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Briana Harvath
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