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Volunteers helping provide hot meals for workers, residents on Fort Myers Beach

Posted at 10:20 PM, Oct 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-15 05:13:52-04

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — For our hardest hit areas still without power or water tonight a hot meal goes a long way.

Some are doing that with food. We’ve seen many mobile food pantries popping up to help feed some hungry stomachs.

“I’m just a guy out there on a mission. My mission is to feed the public.”

Under one canopy on Fort Myers Beach, the smell of pulled pork is wafting through the air. And serving this barbecue blessing is none other than Brett Cox with Cooking Cajun Army.

“I was feeding the morning after," said Cox. "As soon as we were allowed to drive around trees, we were feeding.”

Since Hurricane Ian made landfall two weeks ago, he and his crew have served close to 90,000 meals across Southwest Florida. With some help, thanks to Operation BBQ Relief and Disaster Assistance COC.

"I’m just getting choked up now thinking about it, you know what I mean?" said Cox. "When you see all of these places I used to play in and hangout- I mean you look around and it’s gone, man. It’s gone. That’s a beautiful sight right there though. I love them guys. I love our linesmen man!”

As his crew serve up food, other crews continue working to restore the beach. And a few other helpful hands who have been offering food elsewhere throughout Southwest Florida decided to pitch in.

“It was really nice to see all the kids together and families coming to enjoy hot meals and taking things home to their family," said Jasmin Luna, a veterinarian technician at Indian Creek Pet Hospital. "It was a blessing.”

Luna and her crew were out in Iona-McGregor earlier in the day serving hot food.

"We figured in the meantime now is a good time for us to continue to build our relationships with our community and let everybody know we’re here to support them and we’re here for people.”

And even amidst all the debris still piling up, Cox hopes he’ll take off any burdens of those here on Fort Myers Beach.

"If they’re letting me come feed the responders, I’ll come feed the responders," he says. "If they don’t need me then I’ll find many more places.”