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Hendry County food bank reports 20% increase in demand

As the need grows in Southwest Florida, more food banks are passing out food to hundreds of families every day.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank in Hendry County said there has been a 20 percent increase there since the last time they offered a mobile food pantry.

Some 480 families were served by volunteers on Wednesday in LaBelle.

“We have a lot of need here in Hendry County. I mean, you see we have cars lined up early since 8 o’clock this morning,” said volunteer Marisa Chariez.

Chariez was volunteering on behalf of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church. She has been feeding families every other week.

“A lot of people have lost their jobs. A lot of the kids that receive food from school, they’re having to eat at the house right now,” she said.

Those receiving the food are grateful.

“It is amazing, the need that is here,” said Nikki Yeager.

Harry Chapin Food Bank CEO Richard Laber said the need for food in both Hendry and Glades counties has grown.

“It’s about a 15 to 20 percent increase over the last time we were out there, so we continue to see the numbers of people increase as we go,” he said.

“It’s heartbreaking to see how many people need help, even in a place like Hendry County.”

The Harry Chapin Food Bank alternates distributions in Hendry and Glades every other week. You can see the weekly schedule here.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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