The Shack of Sanibel serving hot meals to first responders, others on the island

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
The Shack of Sanibel serving food. (Credit: WINK News)

A restaurant on Sanibel is bringing some joy to first responders and people on the island. The Shack of Sanibel has been serving meals since right after Hurricane Ian hit.

It has been one month since Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida, and there have been a lot of volunteers, long lines, and hot meals at The Shack of Sanibel.

The Shack has been outside every day since the island opened up, serving meals to anyone who needs them.

“The Saturday, perhaps after it opened up, I think we cleaned out our building on Wednesday and Thursday once residents were allowed to come back. And I think we were up and running Friday, just with cold drinks out of our cooler. And then it sort of morphed into. I think our busiest days been maybe like 1,800 meals served,” said San St. Jean, of The Shack of Sanibel.

First responders, linemen, and others working on the island have been able to fuel up with a hot meal.

“To have a meal that somebody cooked to take care of you to make sure you’re doing well is awesome,” said one of the people eating at The Shack of Sanibel. “You can only eat so many things or foods or snacks, so to speak, until you’re just flat out tired of it. So when you do get a hot meal, I mean, it’s literally just the best thing ever.”

“It’s like a little ray of sunshine in their day,” said St. Jean.

The Shack of Sanibel is going to keep serving meals to the community and people working on the island as long as they need to.

“It’s going to be a while before the island is fully functional again, and just kind of trying to keep that sense of community is really important,” St. Jean said.

The people on the island aren’t complaining. “Looks like it’s made with love. Any time you have a meal from love. You always have a great day.”

The Shack of Sanibel gave out about 1,000 meatball subs on Saturday. The restaurant said they could serve the community because of donations and volunteers.

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