St. Matthew’s House helps hundreds of SWFL residents put food on their tables, sets new record

As many of you prepare your dinner nightly, there are many others wondering where their next meal will come from.

St. Matthew’s House is one of many local charities helping “feed the need” for Southwest Florida, having distributed 60,000 pounds of food over the last two weeks.

St. Matthew’s House food giveaway (WINK News)

At the peak of Thursday’s drive, we saw hundreds of cars wrapped around a building, each representing a family seeking food. Thanks to St. Matthew’s House, more than 800 drove away knowing they wouldn’t have to go without, a new daily record for the organization.

“It’s a big help. I’m glad for these people. Thank you, I appreciate it so much,” said Lizayda Llanes. She’s one of the hundreds of people who came out Thursday.

“It’s really encouraging that we’re coming together as a community,” she said.

Coming together—that’s the positive St. Matthew’s House President Vann Ellison sees happening at their growing food drive.

“The need just continues to increase as people are now running out of reserves at home,” he said. “There’s a lot of anxiety with the people in the lines—Is there gonna be food next week? Are we gonna be able to take care of our families if this continues?”

But he also sees a lot of gratitude from those who pull up in need of food, then drive away knowing they won’t go without for now.

“People so grateful that the community cares and gives and is making an impact like this,” Ellison said. “A lot of them are volunteers.”

Because now is the time for compassion, and to help our neighborhoods.

“I spent my whole life preparing for this so this is the hour and time that we get to show our character,” he said.

They also send thanks to the community for continuing to contribute food and other donations so St. Matthew’s House can feed that growing need.

Their next giveaway is next Tuesday.

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