Volunteers continue to support Lee County students through meal program

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

Hundreds of people lined up early this weekend because they were experiencing food insecurity in Lee County. Fortunately, dozens of spots are set up by School District of Lee County to help feed students who usually rely on a meal at school. Many people continue to show Southwest Florida students they are not forgotten.

We visited a grab-and-go meal location at S.T.A.R.S. Complex in Fort Myers Saturday, where volunteers told us about the continued mission on behalf of students.

“As more and more people are trying to get their unemployment checks, and the need will only grow for the next month or so as more and more people fall into hard times,” volunteer Anthony Thomas said.

Thomas told us he wanted to help students of Lee County, their families and his community

“I believe it’s important to lead by example,” Thomas said. “So that’s what we are trying to do, provide hot meals. A lot of our students that live in this community are getting cold meals throughout the week, and we felt that it was very important to help supplement that by giving them hot meals on the weekend.”

The volunteers gave families burgers and hot dogs for their students this week — simple meals to help feeding hundreds of people.

“On the first day, we gave out almost 300 meals,” volunteer Keaunna Martinez said. “The second day we did 425 meals.”

Martinez says she understands the struggle

“If I wasn’t here volunteering, I would probably be here in the line, just taking something off of my plate and giving it to somebody else,” Martinez said.

Martinez and Thomas encourage people to continue to come out, so they can feed families in need.

If you missed today, volunteers will be back out Sunday at the S.T.A.R.S. Complex. They say they plan to provide food every weekend until the pandemic is over.

“I was raised to always help out someone who may need,” Martinez said. “You never know who may need something. It’s just how I was raised. I always want to help.”

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