St. Matthew’s House needs donations to continue serving families meals

Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
People wait in their cars in line for meals at St. Matthew’s House in Collier County Thursday, April 30, 2020. Credit: WINK News.

Food insecurity, specifically due to the coronavirus pandemic, continues in Southwest Florida. And a local nonprofit expects the current need to continue for possibly the next two years even after things begin to open back up.

We visited St. Matthew’s House in Collier County Thursday, where the nonprofit is in need of donations to continue its mission to help provide meals for families in the region.

Even in the rain, long lines wrapped around the entire building of St. Matthew’s House.

“We had people lined up literally for hours before it starts,” said Van Ellison, the president and CEO of St. Matthew’s House.

Ellison says all community members have to do is look at the lines to see the need.

“Our mezzanine, the area where we store all of that, is completely empty now,” Ellison said. “All of our reserves are exhausted. And, so, today, everything that comes in is going out, and we expect that to be the case moving forward.”

Carrie Ann Myers, like many others, is thankful for the service the nonprofit strives to provide.

“I am a single mom of three, and I was just previously laid off of work,” Myers said. “It’s a blessing for us that don’t have a lot.”

St. Matthews house fed 822 families Thursday. The nonprofit is always in need of donations. Anyone looking to help its mission can visit the St. Matthew’s House website for more information.

Ellison says, even with restaurants and stores opening up, they expect to see lines like this for a while.

“We’re trying to figure out what we’re going to do moving forward,” Ellison said. “We’ll be opening our thrift store, our catering company and our car wash on Monday. But we expect that we will see an increased need for the next year or two.”

MORE: St. Matthew’s House nonprofit website

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