Compared to last year, The Gladiolus Food Pantry said they are not prepared for this hurricane season. That’s because some have not returned to work and others are working even fewer hours.
Some like Marilyn Alladio, have learned to rely on neighbors if severe weather hits. “We all work together as a team in our whole neighborhood. I mean, we all know each other.”
The shelter serves about three hundred families which is double the amount this time last year. Founder and Executive Director of Gladiolus Food Pantry Miriam Ortiz, said “People are not prepared enough for the pandemic. I don’t even know how we’re going to prepare if we have a hurricane coming by. It’s not going to be good.”
The Harry Chapin Food Bank supplies much of the food to pantries across southwest Florida. Richard Leber, President and CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank said it can be very hard to not only predict where the storm is going but who’s going to be affected.
They learned a valuable lesson from Hurricane Irma like waiting to see how bad the damage is and coordinating relief efforts to get food and water where it’s needed most.
“There are literally millions of pounds of food and water and MRE’s ready to be deployed when we get to the point when we get to the point when we have someplace we know needs help,” said Leber.
However, the continued threat of the virus means drive through mobile food pantries will continue to keep contact at a minimum.