The St. Matthew’s House Campbell Lodge in East Naples opened Friday to ensure anyone in need had a meal on Christmas.
Christmas is a holiday many are used to spending with all their loved ones at the dinner table, along with a hot meal.
Like so many, Jim Calderwood was forced to break that tradition in 2020.
“We’re here today because we’re struggling like everyone else with coronavirus, and we’re short on food stamps or money,” Calderwood said.
It’s a difficult reality on a special day.
“It’s tough; it’s really hard,” Calderwood said. “There’s a lot of people out there that are struggling.”
Calderwood, along with Christopher Castellon, is one of the hundreds who picked some food up at St. Matthews House for the holiday.
“It’s real good that they’re doing this for the community because a lot of people are starving,” Castellon said.
Those with St. Matthew’s House were happy their effort benefitted those in the communities they serve.
“The need has been greater than ever this year,” said Rev. Michael Orsi, who is on the nonprofit’s board of directors. “We’ve been able to meet the need over and above anything that we ever expected.”
Some of the people who picked up meals also received a bag of necessities, included with items such as soap, a toothbrush and deodorant.
Cooks at the shelter prepared hot-and-ready meals starting Thursday, and those in need are thankful they did.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Castellon said.