FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Wesley Community Food Pantry is set to distribute its 2,000th meal on March 5, after only five months of operation. The pantry has faced increased rates of food insecurity in SWFL due to the economic impact of COVID-19 and will hit the 2,000-meal milestone sooner than expected.
“Reaching this milestone only motivates us to continue in the fight against food insecurity,” said Peter Salinger, director of the Wesley Community Food Pantry. “While we may have distributed 2,000 meals, there are still millions in Florida who do not know where their next meal will come from.” The Wesley Community Food Pantry contributes to the Fill the Table initiative launched in July 2020 by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. The conference challenged churches in the state of Florida to feed 3 million individuals before September 2021.
“It is a humbling experience to be part of a mission that fulfills one of God’s commandments to take care of those in need,” says Lynn Lee, volunteer coordinator for the pantry. “Without all our volunteers, this would not be possible.” Individuals facing food insecurity in southwest Florida are encouraged to register to receive a three-day supply of food for their household. The pantry utilizes a contactless distribution method to ensure the safety of its volunteers and patrons.
Wesley Community Food Pantry was created to serve the 3 million food-insecure in Florida. With supplies from Harry Chapin Food Bank, as well as partnerships with local organizations, Wesley Community Food Pantry opened to serve southwest Florida in October 2020.