St. Matthew’s House helps those in need get food

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Between the hurricane, inflation, and rising rent prices, it’s been hard to pay for groceries in Southwest Florida, and people have had to adjust.

For some, that help comes from food distributions like the Saint Matthew’s House.

Thousands of people, Saint Matthew’s House said, they’ve helped feed 1,300 families just this week. And looking at the line on Thursday evening, it’s clear that many people need help.

A long line of cars twisting through the Lely Elementary School parking lot, with the end of the line down the street. As 337 families waited to open their trunks for some much-needed help.

“I need food…I don’t have the money. My family don’t,” Naples resident Candy Canfield said.

“We had to cut back on a couple things that we didn’t need to before. Right now, we’re trying to scrape any penny we have,” Naples resident Yoatzyn Toro said.

Like Toro and his family, it has been difficult for many families ever since the hurricane.

“If it weren’t for the help of a couple people, we probably wouldn’t have a house to live in yet. A lot of houses are already still under construction from the hurricane. And most of our walls are damaged,” Toro said.

Toro isn’t alone either, and St. Matthew’s House knows that because of all the stories they hear.

“Either pay a bill, pay their car, or they don’t eat. And if they eat, it’s not something healthy. It’s not a good meal,” Manny Vazquez, the St. Matthew’s House Food Coordinator, said.

Considering that St. Matthews House held its distribution on Thursday at 5 p.m. A reasonable time for those who are working to make ends meet.

“They’re able to go to work. They’re able to come here. They bring their kids, and they go home, and they’re able to cook a meal,” Vazquez said.

“Thank God for people like this for helping us,” Canfield said.

Vazquez told WINK News St. Matthews House is looking at having more distributions in the early evening with snowbirds leaving or already gone. That means they need more volunteers and more food. The next distribution is from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Golden Gate Senior Center for senior citizens only.

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