Café to feed the hungry reopens following renovation

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Community Cooperative Ministries Inc. (CCMI) is back open. The community café and soup kitchen has been around for 30 years and strives to fill the stomachs of thousands in Lee County.

The main location on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard has been closed for a few months while construction crews worked to make $150,000 worth of improvements.

“The building we are in was constructed in 1998,” said CCMI CEO Tracey Galloway, “so it was about 18 years old and the kitchen has never been remodeled. We had kind of outgrown our space.”

Mostly grants and donations made the renovation possible. The café’s kitchen has a better design, which will allow the volunteers to be more efficient.

“Just to have a new workflow,” said Galloway. “Everything is in its place were it belongs. Lots of new equipment and lots of our old equipment that’s been refurbished.”

Eventually, the kitchen will be able to put out twice the amount of food and feed double the amount of people. CCMI can also now serve fresh produce using the latest growing technology.

“Tons of fresh produce. We have 400 pounds of our own sweet potatoes out of the garden we prepared for Thanksgiving, lots of lettuce, cabbages, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants,” said Galloway.

Not only will the kitchen be able to serve more of the hungry this holiday season, but it will be healthier food for some who might already be lacking nutrition.

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