Food pantries see higher demand during holiday season

Writer: Melissa Montoya
Published: Updated:

Mary Bousquet has never been busier.

She’s been a volunteer at the Cape Coral Caring Center for over a year.

“Just in the holiday season here we’re getting so many more customers than we were before because there’s just so much need in the community,” Bousquet said.

Every month, Bousquet said, she sees new faces lining up to receive food. This year, the need for food has nearly doubled at the Cape Coral Caring Center.

The center held a drive-thru distribution on Tuesday and many cars showed up.

Bousquet, who was a single mom for years, said she knows how difficult it can be to make ends meet.

“I was fortunate to have a job and I was fortunate to have a very supportive family but I know that it can be hard especially when you are single, raising children,” she said.

“It’s very disheartening to know that there’s (sic) so many people in need especially when they come in and they have their children in the car,” Bousquet said.

According to the center, they used to help about three to five families a day, but now instead it’s gone up to almost 50 to 70 families every day.

“A lot of people called on the phone and they would say I just lost my job and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, how am I going to feed my family,” said Julie Ferguson, executive director of the Cape Coral Caring Center. “It was so nice to be able to tell them you know what, pull your car up and we’re gonna put some nice food in your car.”

Volunteers from the Rotary Club helped the center with the drive-thru on Tuesday.

“It stays local,” said Suzanne Vasbinder, assistant governor for Area 4 Rotary. “We know we are servicing the people in Cape Coral and that’s special, honestly.”

Ferguson said helping other’s puts a smile on her face.

“To be able to help people and to be the answer to somebody’s prayer that just, just touches my heart, makes me feel good,” Ferguson said.

The Caring Center will hold another food distribution tomorrow from 9:30 am to noon. You must be a Cape Coral resident and bring your I.D. to participate.

If you’d like to help the Cape Coral Caring Center, go to their website.

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