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Cape Coral single mom back at work after struggling to feed family during pandemic

A Cape Coral woman who struggled to feed her kids after losing her job because of the coronavirus pandemic is back at work.

WINK News previously reported on Christine Bowen, a Duval Street employee laid off when the restaurant had to close.

Today, Bowen is back at work and feeling positive about reopening.

Duval Street is “my second home,” Bowen said. “The kitchen is my second family.”

Being back and getting her hands dirty is a good feeling.

“I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to eat from a can or something. But not my kids. So it was my kids I had to worry about first,” she said.

In an April 27 story, Bowen told WINK News she was barely getting by, recently feeding her kids instant noodles for a week and getting frozen burgers from her boss. After that story aired, many of you reached out to us to find out how to help the single mother and her family.

“I was humbled, but, very overwhelmed,” Bowen said. “I didn’t think that many people actually cared.”

But you did, and she won’t forget it. She even paid it forward.

“One of my coworkers needed food, I gave them a couple gift certificates. My neighbor is a veteran, I went shopping for him with one of the gift cards that one of the ladies gave me.”

So many of the employees at Duval Street are like millions across the country, trying to play catch up and make ends meet.

“It takes something big like this for everyone to stay together,” Bowen said.

Bowen believes she and the rest of her kitchen “family” can overcome. They’re grateful to be back at work and they’re humbled to serve.

“It feels like Christmas. It’s got that spirit. Like what happened with 9/11, everyone came together, that’s what this feels like again.”

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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