NORTH FORT MYERS
Chances are you know a senior citizen struggling to put enough food on the table.
In Southwest Florida, one in every 12 is food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
Living on a fixed income, health issues and a lack of transportation all add to the problem. And for older people, it’s only expected to get worse.
Week after week, retirees are seen lining up at the First Assembly of God church on Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers.
Jim, a retired engineer, said he never envisioned himself going to a food pantry. Living on a fixed income, he said, he is finding it harder to afford food.
“Things have been going up quite a bit lately, you know, food and gas,” Jim said.
The food pantry fills the grocery gap a bit, Jim said.
Inflation is affecting many including senior citizens who are experiencing food insecurity in Southwest Florida. (CREDIT: WINK News)
“We really use stuff,” he said. “It’s appreciated.”
Richard Leber, the CEO of the Harry Chapin Food Bank, said 19% of the people his nonprofit feeds every mont are seniors.
One program, Care and Share, feeds 2,200 of them every month, handing out bags of groceries filled with protein, cereal, fruits and vegetables.
Others get food at walk-up pantries all over Southwest Florida.
Jim hopes people who are struggling get in line for a little help if they need it.
Jim is grateful, he said.
“It really helps, and appreciate it,” he added.
A $500 donation can feed a senior for a year.
How to help:
You can help WINK News raise $450,000 to put a million meals on the tables of hungry families in Southwest Florida.
You can donate by visiting our March to a Million Meals donation page.
More from March to a Million Meals:
Why your dollar matters
Food insecurity leads first-timer to a food bank
Gladiolus Food Pantry reopens after Ian
Inflation affecting food pantries in SWFL
Estero’s Copperleaf community donates money, food for Ian victims