Food bank comes to Fort Myers Beach, helping those affected by red tide

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Aerial drone footage over Fort Myers Beach on Aug. 21, 2018.

The Harry Chapin Food Bank is hard at work preparing to help those affected by red tide.
People who work along the water say they’re struggling to make ends meet and need any kind of support they can get. That’s why the opening of a temporary food bank on Estero Boulevard so vital.

Paying for food on top of other necessities like rent is now a burden for people like Jill Eby, a restaurant server at Yucatán Beach Stand Bar & Grill on Fort Myers Beach, “You go from even $100 a day to $20 or $40 a day is pretty significant plus you’re trying to figure out how to pay rent and utilities.”

At Yucatán, empty tables and silent seating areas are signaling organizations, like the Harry Chapin Food Bank, to help out.

Richard Leber, President and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank says,”We’re going to start in Fort Myers Beach tomorrow for the first time and then every week after that.”

A mobile food bank will pop up Friday morning from 10 a.m. until noon. “So you can see we got sandwich meat and cheese and hotdogs and hamburgers and sausage and sausage in there,” Leber said.

The food bank has everything from meat to produce and even toaster strudels. The recipient simply signs in, provides a few details about the size of their family and walks out with food for their family.

Even for volunteers, the new location means a lot.

Volunteer Gary Moerke enjoys what he’s doing, “They’re just so thankful. I mean they’re just (emotional) you know, they don’t get food otherwise. So it’s great.”

And Eby says she thinks a lot of people would appreciate the assistance right now.

The food bank will be at 1510 Estero Boulevard on Fort Myers Beach Friday from 10 a.m. to Noon. It will return to the same location every Wednesday until the red tide lets up.

If you are looking to donate or volunteer, go to the to register or a food drop off location near you.

WINK News reporter Nicole Lauren was live on Fort Myers Beach Friday morning where more than 100 families picked up food. Watch the segment below.

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