Meals of Hope meets community need with ‘Drive Up’ food pantries

NAPLES, Fla. (March 25, 2020) – Southwest Florida’s largest food pantry provider, Meals of Hope, is continuing to help people in need of food assistance by maintaining their eight regularly scheduled weekly mobile food pantries with one important difference: Starting Monday, March 30, the pantries will be “Drive Up”-style.

Typically, Meals of Hope’s mobile pantries allow anyone who needs assistance to mingle on-site while choosing from a varying selection of frozen meat, fresh produce, canned goods and dry food, feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products, and diapers.

Now, Meals of Hope is keeping participants and volunteers safe in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing recommendations. Mobile pantry patrons will be asked to remain inside their vehicles, and Meals of Hope volunteers will bring bags of presorted food to the vehicles. Participants are asked to have their identification or scanner cards ready.

“Our goal is to keep feeding as many people as possible, as safely as possible, during this unprecedented challenge,” said Meals of Hope President and CEO Steve Popper. “We are operating until we run out of food, money, or are mandated to close.” Visit www.MealsofHope.org for “Drive Up” mobile pantry details at the following locations:

Lely Presbyterian Church  110 St. Andrews Blvd., Naples  Mondays from 3 to 5 p.m.

River Park Recreation Center 301 11th St. N., Naples Mondays from 3 to 5 p.m.

Greater Naples YMCA  5450 YMCA Road., Naples  Tuesdays 3 to 5 p.m.

East Naples Community Park 3500 Thomasson Drive, Naples First, second and fourth Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. Third Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. with Harry Chapin Food Bank

Bonita Springs Elementary School  10701 Dean St., Bonita Springs  Wednesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.

Max A. Hasse Community Park 3390 Golden Gate Blvd. W. Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.

Golden Gate Senior Center  4898 Coronado Parkway, Naples Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m.

Farm Workers Village 1724 Elm Hammock Circle, Immokalee Thursdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

If you would like to help by donating, sponsoring a meal packing event, or volunteering at a mobile pantry, please email info@MealsofHope.org for information. Volunteers need to arrive one hour before the mobile pantry distribution starts, stay the full three hours, and wear closed-toe shoes.

To help those in need, a new interactive map of Collier County food pantries can also be found at www.MealsofHope.org/pantry.

Meals of Hope provides a total of 14 food pantries – including eight mobile pantries – throughout Collier and Lee counties to distribute fresh and nutritious food to approximately 1,200 families, seniors and veterans each week. Additional services and summer meal programs serve more than 10,000 Southwest Florida residents each month.

With the help of more than 25,000 volunteers, Meals of Hope packed more than 10 million meals in 2019 at events in Southwest Florida and throughout the United States.

As a partner agency with the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Meals of Hope distributes more than 2 million pounds of food each year as it fulfills its mission of inspiring and empowering communities to come together to end hunger. Established in 2007, Meals of Hope is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization. To learn more, visit www.MealsofHope.org or call 239-537-7775.

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