Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Season of Sharing at Our Daily Bread


What better time to share than during the holiday season? Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is about meeting people in their time of need and walking alongside them, especially during the holiday season.

You might ask why a food pantry is needed in the Greater Marco Island area. Our Daily Bread is the only food pantry between Everglades City and mid-town Naples. People who live and/or work in Marco Island, Goodland, Isles of Capri, East Naples and surrounding areas are welcome.

According to Liz Pecora, the Media, Community & Benevolence Director for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry, 41% of elementary children are enrolled in a free or subsidized breakfast and lunch program. But not everyone struggling with hunger qualifies for federal nutrition assistance.

On Marco Island, when the “season” comes to a close, many jobs go away and businesses reduce their staff’s work hours. The Pantry serves the working low-income earners. Further, when school is out for the summer, children no longer receive subsidized food. Many of the families served must choose between paying their rent and utilities, and buying groceries.

For families with babies, additional help from Baby Basics is offered one Saturday a month. Funded by Sunrise Rotary, Baby Basics provides diapers to those who qualify for the program.

The Pantry also serves seniors who struggle with health issues, are on a fixed income, or are at-risk. They offer “Care and Share,” a supplemental feeding program for seniors. Food can be picked up or delivered, in addition to items in the pantry. According to Liz Pecora, the Senior Luncheon is a very popular program.

A lot of the Pantry volunteers are seniors themselves, and it is a wonderful way for them to meet other people and feel needed.

In Collier County, Florida’s largest county, 22% live in poverty (The state average is 15%). Poverty for children is growing at a 72% rate for Collier County while the rest of the state averages 33%. The Pantry serves 43% children, 48% adults and 9% seniors.

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is open on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10 AM to noon. They receive donated food from Publix and Winn-Dixie, in addition to individual food donations. Food donations may be dropped off in the Family Church lobby during business hours or off-hours in the drop-off box.

The Pantry is located at The Family Church, 1450 Winterberry Drive. For assistance or to volunteer, call 239-394-1646.

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