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Charities are making sure no families face food insecurity this Thanksgiving

With many people facing financial hardships due to the pandemic and Thanksgiving being just days away, people are worried they won’t be able to put Thanksgiving dinner on the table. So, one organization is doing their part to make sure no family goes hungry this Thanksgiving.

Michael Vega with the Catholic Charities Food Pantry recognizes that food insecurity is growing in SWFL. “Food insecurities now in Southwest Florida has become huge,” Vega said.

Vega doesn’t expect the situation to get better any time soon. But, on Friday, volunteers handed out food to families and $20 gift cards in an effort to help the situation.

Among those in the long line of cars on Michigan Avenue in Fort Myers was Heather Allen. Allen is here for herself and others. “I have a lot of friends and families out here that need the food so I’m not just here for me but I’m here for my friends and family too,” she said.

“My family, some of my friends that can’t make it. Some are pregnant so they don’t want to come out so I tried to help them as well as my family,” said Allen.

In cooperation with Harry Chapin Food Bank and Midwest Food Bank, Catholic Charities provided food for everyone that came through this line.

“With everything that is going on with the pandemic with the unemployment rate skyrocketing the need is gotten a lot greater than what it was initially,” Vega said.

After Friday, the Catholic Charities moves on to its next mission. “We cater to anybody that is needy. Homeless, we have homeless bags for people who are homeless,” said Vega. “We refer them to other programs here and Catholic Charities that might be able to help them.”

These resources and this kind of help is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Catholic Charities Food Pantry has distribution every Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Reporter:Michelle Mackonochie
Writer:Drew Hill
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