Hurricane Ian swept through Florida in late September, closing many pantries and supermarkets, creating a considerable burden for families who were already food insecure. This was all the more reason Our Lady’s Pantry hoped to open on Saturday, October 1.
“We have never been closed in our 22-year history,” says director Tom Bullaro.
“In a crisis such as this storm, however, there was no telling what would happen, because so much was out of our control.
“Our trucks were able to get out on the road on Friday, however. And, thanks to generous donations from Costco, Sam’s Club, and the three local Publix Super Markets — all of which were open on Friday — we had more than enough food to share with our clients on Saturday morning.”
According to Bullaro, these markets, and others — including Sprouts, and Aldi’s, which was closed on Friday — have continuously been generous with our Pantry, for which we are so thankful.
“Thanks, too, to our amazing volunteers, who arrived long before dawn to set up for the day, as usual. Some of these volunteers come from a distance away, so their commute involved driving on dark roads through dangerous intersections with no traffic lights because of power outages on Saturday morning.
“We could not do what we do without the help of so many individuals,” says Bullaro.
“You are all our heroes!"