Mobile food pantry assists over 160 families in Cape
Families lined up behind the Cape Coral United Way House Wednesday afternoon in the grassy fields with shopping carts in hand, walking from table to table to receive approximately 50 pounds of food from the mobile food pantry.
The Harry Chapin Food Bank, Community Cooperative Ministries Incorporated, the Salvation Army and United Way joined forces to bring between 12,000 and 14,000 pounds of food to distribute to local families in need.
“We are good at moving food,”Harry Chapin Food Bank Executive Director Al Brislain said.
Brislain said they filled their truck with as much food as possible with either donated items or purchased items for the summer food distribution event Wednesday. He said it is amazing to see all the organizations come together to make something like this happen.
Last week the first distribution was held in Bonita Springs where more than 300 families were provided food.
Brislain said the lines are everywhere.
Although it is sad to see so many families in need, he said it is heartening to see everyone come together.
CCMI Food Innovation Team Leader Meghan Madden said 160 families registered for the first summer food distribution before Wednesday afternoon at the Cape Coral United Way House. She said by the end of the two-hour distribution she expected to serve up to 180 families.
Some of the items the families received were canned food items, bags of potatoes, loaves of bread, fresh meat and heads of lettuce.
“It is always a great event when agencies partner together,” Madden said, because of all the resources they can provide to individuals.
She anticipates that they will help twice as many people next month.
The mobile food pantry will visit the Cape Coral United Way House again July 20 and Aug. 17. Madden said families must register before the event to be guaranteed food. Registration can be done by calling 211 or 239-433-3900.
CCMI Case Coach Blanca Perez said once the families checked in, they were asked if they needed any other services. The Harry Chapin Food Bank then asked the families how many people lived in their household and where they lived, for further service.
A representative from Goodwill Job Links was also in attendance to help people find jobs, along with providing assistance in creating their resume. In addition, Habitat for Humanity and Salvation Army also had a table set up inside for those seeking specific services.
Perez said they are offering the monthly mobile food pantry because the need is really big in Cape Coral.
Geri Preyer, a volunteer who was passing out two kinds of fresh bread to all those who attended Wednesday afternoon, wanted to provide a helping hand. She said everyone needs to give back because we cannot always take from others.
“This is a real big help and blessing for them,” Preyer said about those who received food. “We can only hope things turn around and get better for our country.”
CCMI Everyday Cafe and Market Manager Wendi Wilkie also handed out hot dogs and drinks for those who attended the mobile food pantry.
The Cape Coral United Way House is located at 1105 Cultural Park Blvd.