Volunteer prepares and donates meals to those in need in Immokalee

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
cooking in immokalee

Every Monday, a volunteer in Immokalee cooks meals and donates them to dozens of homes. This program helps tons of people in the community.

Mondays are busy days for Marifrans Castillo de Estrada. She spends her entire morning preparing 60 meals, making everything from scratch at Mesion Peniel in Immokalee. It’s all thanks to the food that is donated to the organization. “I started at 7 AM, and I finish at 11 or 11:30, and after that, I put it in the container,” said Castillo de Estrada.

But that’s not the end. Then, she gets to deliver those meals to families in Immokalee. People there depend on her.

“Sometimes they’re already at the door standing there, and even if they have a mask on, you can see in their eyes their smile, and it’s something that satisfies you. Not only for them, but it fills you,” Castillo de Estrada said.

In Guatemala, Castillo de Estrada went to school to become a chef. She always believed feeding people was her calling. “I feel good because the kitchen is my passion, and I like it. I like what I do, and being able to do it this way and serving it’s something that really satisfies you and fills you. It fills you a lot,” said Castillo de Estrada.

And her day spent in the kitchen makes a world of difference to those in her community. Her goal is to help those who are struggling, like Santos Ramírez. He is blind. “I don’t work, and neither does my wife. So with this help that they give us, it’s good because it helps us eat,” said Ramírez.

Carmen Soliano has health issues. Marifrans meals help her too. “It’s a labor of love that’s very good, very admirable,” said Soliano.

For Castillo de Estrada, food is love.

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