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St. Matthew’s House opens new food distribution site near East Naples

St. Matthew’s House is excited to announce its newest food distribution site at Golden Gate High School in Naples.

The site will be open every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon for those in the community to come and get food.

Many families in Collier County have reached out to St. Matthew’s House to express the level of need in the community for another distribution site and day.

“We’re basically looking at areas of food poverty or insecurity and Golden Gate City in East Naples down in the Manor area are really hotspots and this is a good central location for both of those,” said Van Ellison, CEO of St. Matthews House.

With layoffs and furloughs due to the pandemic, paychecks and food have been even more scarce in already hurting communities like this one.

“The seasonality of the economy with the COVID setback has really made it really difficult for families to continue to make ends meet,” Ellison said.

Ana Valencia’s family in Golden Gate City has been living off of one paycheck and it’s been hard for her to put food on the table for her family.

“It’s a hard change in our life,” she said.

But she says it’s been amazing coming here and getting food for her family. “It’s my first time here but wow I feel so happy.”

One volunteer deems helping the families indescribable. “There’s no other way to describe really the feeling,” said Craig Inglis.

“We’re always eager to put the guys in a position to get back so they can see how it feels to give God-honoring work,” Inglis said.

Valencia says she’ll be back. “I will come. I need to help my family.”

Thursday pickups are still available at First Baptist Church of Naples.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Drew Hill
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