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Backpack giveaway to help families in SWFL get school supplies for upcoming school year

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for many families to afford their most basic needs like rent and utilities. With the school year just around the corner, and concerns brewing over whether in-person instruction is a good idea, buying school supplies in 2020 is even more difficult than before.

Norma Navaro, mom to three kids, has a lot of things on her plate. She has a six-month-old, a two-year-old and a four-year-old.

But she still wants to make sure she’s helping others in her community as much as she can. “Basically she came here with only a working permit and she has not been able to find any work,” she said.

There a growing number of Navaro’s neighbors that are facing unemployment, an income gap and a language barrier.

Yadi Munoz, Cafe of Life site manager and volunteer coordinator, said, “Unfortunately with the help that we give them its helped them to just kind of survive and pay their immediate bills.”

Navaro, says it’s helped her family. “We’ve been able to survive with that,” she said.

Without community organizations like Cafe of Life stepping up to help neighborhoods in need, many families simply wouldn’t be able to survive.

“They’ve lost jobs, a lot of them. Their hours have [been] cut,” Munoz said.

One boy would not have had school clothes that fit him without the help of Cafe of Life.

“They really depend on this to get their kids back to school,” Munoz stresses.

Some kids would have nowhere to put their pencils and paper and some parents would have no way to feed their children.

“We feel very blessed because if it wasn’t for you, we would not have anything to eat. So I’ve been feeling at least happy in that way,” said the Bonita Springs mom.

But the silver lining for Navaro is that her family has been lucky enough to stay healthy. ” I just feel happy that none of my family has gotten sick with this,” she said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cafe of Life told WINK News reporter Anika Henanger, proving for has been their main priority. However, it’s been hard to find in the quantities they need it.

You can help Cafe of Life by donating non-perishable food at their Childers Street location in Bonita Springs.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Drew Hill
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