St. Matthew’s House offers hot Easter meals to hundreds in Naples

Published: April 4, 2021 6:22 PM EDT
Updated: April 4, 2021 6:29 PM EDT

Those at St. Matthew’s House wanted to make sure that no one was left without a hot meal on Easter. So, they handed out hundreds of meals at the Campbell Lodge Shelter in Naples on Sunday.

Inside the bags are boxes that hold warm meals that will do more for people than keep their stomachs full, but their hearts as well.

Dale Patrick received a meal for Easter. “Thank you and God bless. I appreciate it,” Patrick said.

Ryan Schank and the other chefs here have spent three days getting Easter meals ready for up to 500 people.

“There’s always people here to help and no matter what’s going on in this world we’re always here to give a helping hand and help you out no matter what,” Schank said.

Schank used to call St. Matthew’s House his home. Now, he’s come back to help and give to those who are currently struggling.

“It feels like something I thought I could never do,” said Schank. “Now I was given a second opportunity to have a second chance at life because of this place and I just feel like I can’t give enough.”

The smiles of these chefs translate to those who are receiving the food.

Dale says that since the beginning of the pandemic, he had to come to St. Matthew’s House a few times a week. So, he’s happy to be receiving some help this Easter.

“People need a hand and they are here to help,” Patrick said.

Others have shared that they never thought they would have to drive up to get food on the table, especially for Easter.

Vann Ellison is the President and CEO of St. Matthew’s House. “Well they’re always grateful. Sometimes as we sit down and have a wonderful meal people are in tears because they didn’t expect that at this dark spot in their life they’re actually being cared for and appreciated in a tremendous way,” said Ellison.

Just in the month of March, St. Matthew’s fed about 140,000 people.