Some families are still struggling to put meals on the table due to the destruction from Hurricane Irma a year ago. One of the organizations helping in the fight is Meals of Hope.
“Starting as early as 6 a.m. we start loading the trucks,” Brandon Dowdy, Meals of Hope Director of Development, said. On an annual basis we see about two million pounds of food come and go. We have 11 pantry sides serving 1,000 families.”
Meals of Hope is Southwest Florida’s largest food pantry. They pack over eight million meals every year, but the past year has been the toughest.
“A young man who was in our pantry, it was very moving to me because they never consider individuals,” Dowdy said. “ But Hurricane Irma, the lack of funds saved for repairs, etc. has really set them back and some have been unable to really recover.”
Not everyone had recovered from Hurricane Irma.
“We still see today, individuals replying on us as much as they did the days following,” Dowdy said.
Meals of Hope still provides food for about 600 families that were affected by Hurricane Irma last year.
“The immediate six weeks following Hurricane Irma we did 850,000 pounds of food distributed out of our warehouse,” he said.
The organization was also impacted and lost power for 17 days. The building suffered more than 100,000 worth of damage, but the team still worked to meet community needs.
There are several ways that you can get involved to help Meals of Hope in Southwest Florida. Visit their