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Food banks see high demand for food while volunteer, donation needs increase

On Tuesday, a line of cars lined up all the way around the St. Matthew’s House distribution center and down busy Airport-Pulling Road in Naples.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly to help those affected by this pandemic and at several locations around Southwest Florida.

Mary Wozniak, with the Harry Chapin Food Bank said, “I’ve seen a long line of cars before at mobile distributions, but nothing like this.”

Rosangel Segura just lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and on top of that, she says she has 12 people in her home.

Brandi McDonald is from Immokalee, and she tells WINK News she’s also struggling to make ends meet, “I’m in the service industry and my husband’s hours got cut in half so we are struggling a little bit financially so we’re just out here to collect some food.”

Wozniak said, “We’re seeing a need about 80% higher than we usually do.”

And the greater the need for food, the greater the need for volunteers, and the greater the need for donations.

“We are giving out 5,000 kits per week, “Wozniak explained. “They cost about $30 each to prepare, so we’re looking at $150,000 a week or $600,000 a month.”

At St. Matthew’s House in Collier County, lines wrapped around the building.

Vann Ellison, president of St. Matthew’s house said, “We have probably the longest lines we’ve ever had. If we stretched it out it would probably be about half a mile long, two lanes wide.”

At a time where many don’t know where their next meal is coming from, these food banks need your help.

Harry Chapin can turn $1 into $8 dollars worth of food for a hungry family. And $30 provides an entire food kit that can feed a family of four for five days.

St. Matthew’s has its next giveaway on Thursday, and Harry Chapin has more Wednesday.


If you would like to contribute to the local food banks around SWFL, we have provided links below to different organizations accepting donations.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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